Review of The Recipient


Cover_The Recipient

The Recipient

by Audrey J. Cole

GENRE:   Thriller


A year after serial killer Michael Rhodes is executed and allowed to donate part of his brain as an organ transplant, Sergeant Wade McKinnon gets called to a murder scene that shares uncanny similarities to those of the late Michael Rhodes. Other similar killings happen around Seattle, and Wade seems to be the only person still alive who knows enough about Michael Rhodes’s murders to be able to replicate them. When evidence found at one of the crime scenes points to Wade as the killer, he races to find the real culprit before it’s too late to clear his own name.

Elle is overjoyed when her husband, Brian, gets a second chance at life when he receives a partial brain transplant after suffering a debilitating stroke at the age of thirty-seven. Their lives seem to return to normal, but Elle notices a disturbing change in Brian’s behavior. When Elle learns that her husband’s brain cell transplant came from Michael Rhodes, she fears that Brian now has the mind of a serial killer.


The Recipient is a pyschological thriller in which Elle goes from thinking that her husband’s strange behavior is because he’s having an affair to the possibility that her husband’s behavior is due to the fact that he now has brain cells from an executed serial killer.

Of all of the characters, I felt that Elle was drawn the best. One can only imagine the terror that one would feel to have those worries weighing down upon you. She is plucky and not one to sit back and let things happen.

Unfortunately Sergeant Wade McKinnon seemed like a character wrenched out of a movie or a tv show in which indulgent police behavior sometimes goes unreprimanded (although granted, at one point, he is reprimanded). He is a loose cannon with his bad temper and drinking. It was this type of behavior that resulted in the death of his partner and one would have thought that in the ensuing years, it would have been shutdown.

I was surprised that there was the acceptance that all of the details of a homicide would be open to the public as I thought that keeping some of the details secret was how police would catch the murderer. So that for me didn’t ring true. Also, the state of Washington has had a moritorium on the death penalty since 2014, so the execution wouldn’t have happened in 2015 in the first place. I’m never sure if we’re supposed to ignore factual errors in reading, but they always jump out and then I think about it too much.

For the most part The Recipient is a very good read, with twists and surprises for the reader used to reading mysteries/thrillers. For you thriller buffs, this might be a good one to add to your summer reading, and Audrey J. Cole is definitely a writer to watch.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

rating: 3-and-half

3 butterflies and a ladybug out of 5 butterflies


 She hyperventilated as she tried frantically to free herself from the trunk. She assumed her lack of ability to catch her breath was due to her panic and the confined space she was in, not realizing that every muscle in her body was becoming paralyzed, including her lungs. Calm down. You can get out of here. She tried to take in a deep breath, but the tightness forming in her chest only made her more anxious.

She remembered that her car had an emergency trunk release on the inside. Unsure if she was in her own trunk or that of a stranger, she began moving her hands along the felt-like carpet in search of the lever. But her arms would not move as fast as she commanded them to. Fear rose within her and she began to struggle for breath.

The car slowed to a stop when she felt a small plastic handle on the wall behind her head. Relief soared through her as she pulled on the handle and the trunk lid popped open. I’m going to make it, she told herself.

As she struggled unsuccessfully to climb out, she heard a garage door closing. She looked around as she lay helpless and mostly paralyzed and recognized the inside of her own garage. The relief she had felt abruptly dissipated when she recognized her attacker standing over her with an evil smile on his face. Unbeknownst to Mandy, the man had carefully planned her demise by discreetly following her home from the gym the week before. He had also checked her address records to make sure that she lived alone.

“Oh good, you’re awake.”

She was unable to put up a fight as he leaned over and pulled her out of the trunk before carrying her into her house.

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AuthorPicture.jpgAUTHOR Bio and Links:

Audrey J. Cole is a registered nurse and a writer of thrillers set in Seattle. Although born and raised in the Seattle area, Audrey now lives with her husband and daughter in Port Stephens, Australia. She maintains a blog for aspiring authors and is currently writing a psychological thriller.


Audrey J Cole will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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13 thoughts on “Review of The Recipient

  1. Intrigued by your cover and synopsis! Definitely need to discover more! Congrats on your release and tour.

    1. That’s a hard question…in college I was made to read some of Captain Cook’s letters for an American Lit class and I remember being excited to read them because I like history and even a lot of old literature, but they were painfully boring and ridiculously long. I couldn’t even finish reading them. Good luck with the giveaway!

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