#BookReview When Cicadas Cry by Caroline Cleveland @MandaGroup @UnionSqandCo #WhenCicadasCry #CarolineCleveland #MandaGroup #UnionSqandCo Title: When Cicadas Cry

Author: Caroline Cleveland

Published by: Union Square & Co. on May 7, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Manda Group

Book Rating: 8/10

A high-profile murder case— A white woman has been bludgeoned to death with an altar cross in a rural church on Cicada Road in Walterboro, South Carolina. Sam Jenkins, a Black man, is found covered in blood, kneeling over the body. In a state already roiling with racial tenson, this is not only a murder case, but a powder keg.

A haunting cold case— Two young women are murdered on quiet Edisto Beach, an hour southeast of Walterboro, and the killer disappears without a trace. Thirty-four years later the mystery remains unsolved. Could there be a connection to Stander’s case?

A killer who’s watching— Stander takes on Jenkins’s defense, but he’s up against a formidable solicitor with powerful allies. Worse, his client is hiding a bombshell secret. When Addie Stone reopens the cold case, she discovers more long-buried secrets in this small town. Would someone kill again to keep them?

Ideal for fans of mystery, suspense, and thrillers in the vein of Karin Slaughter’s Pretty Girls and Stacy Willingham’s A Flicker in the Dark, as well as for readers who followed the high-profile Murdaugh murder trial, held in the same small town as in When Cicadas Cry.


Duplicitous, intense, and atmospheric!

When Cicadas Cry is a fast-paced, sinister tale that finds small-town attorney Zach Stander defending Sam Jenkins, a local Black man who, after being found near the body of a white woman covered in the victim’s blood, suddenly becomes the number one suspect until Zach’s partner, PI Addie Stone manages to stumble across some strange connections between this present case an unsolved cold case from three decades ago.

The prose is fluid and tight. The characters are multilayered, relentless, and resourceful. And the plot unfolds quickly into a menacing tale of mischief, mayhem, corruption, manipulation, racism, coercion, deception, heinous violence, and murder.

Overall, When Cicadas Cry is a tight, intricate, engrossing debut by Cleveland that is highly entertaining and the perfect choice for anyone who enjoys a good mystery threaded with ongoing social issues and injustices.


This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.




Thank you to Manda Group for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Caroline Cleveland

Caroline Cleveland is a labor and employment lawyer. A native South Carolinian, Caroline grew up in the Lowcountry and earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1991. This is her first novel.

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