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Review by Liveforchrist51

The WITNESS of the MURDER Next Door

(formerly titled Killing Your Best Friend)

17 Jan 2021

4 out of 4 stars




The Witness of the Murder Next Door (formerly titled Killing Your Best Friend) written by Valda Taurus, is a wonderful take on an enthralling murder mystery. This novel takes you on a wild adventure through a murderous relationship, broken marriages and brand-new beginnings.

The story takes place in a small village in Alaska. Alexander Gray, the town drunk, is accused of murdering his best friend, Ivan Kortnev, on Mother’s Day of 1999. This event occurs many years after Gray is convicted of a previous murder which took place on Mother’s Day of 1985. Taurus sends us on a brutal journey through the depths of Alexander’s childhood and marriage in order to determine a motive and to figure out if he is in fact, the true killer. After Detective Andy Mohr finds interest in the case, he decides to pay a visit to the small village. He uncovers many family secrets, some of which reside just next door to Mr. Gray. After many visits and late nights of contemplation, the mystery unfolds into an appalling revelation. Nothing is as it seems.

The use of multiple characters providing their take on the event, stages a very intriguing storyline that holds the reader’s attention throughout the entire book. We are taken through several complicated, entangled relationships in order to build the anticipation of what is to come. Such relationships would include those of Alexander and Marta Gray and Dustin and Tammy Bartow. These are just two of many that Taurus shares. Without these mind-boggling discoveries amongst the relationships, the story would not be as thrill-seeking as it is. Every detail that is uncovered is just as shocking as the last. The entire storyline was very well thought out.

I did not find any negative attributes to this book. There is profanity involved, however, I find it necessary in order to portray the personalities of certain characters. There were hints of sexual content as well, but none of which were explicit or dwelled upon for too long. No editorial issues are present. Everything is grammatically correct. Considering all aspects, I would rate The Witness of the Murder Next Door, four out of four stars. This is a must-read novel.

Most murder mysteries, including this one, should be for mature audiences. For those who enjoy a good unsolved murder, this would be the perfect story. I would not limit the audience to merely murder mystery readers. I also feel that this could be included in the genre of a perplexed romance novel as well. Valda Taurus can reach a large variety of readers with this storyline. It was truly a great read.

The Witness of the Murder Next Door (formerly titled Killing Your Best Friend).  View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

BOOKS REVIEWED by Valda Taurus

Evolution's Magnum Opus: Innocence on Trial
by Stephen Roth 



To simply say that this story is very well-written wouldn't do it justice. Every line in the novel brings us the atmosphere and feelings that the author was inclined to share with us. There was nothing that I would consider as being overwritten. Every line was used with a purpose in mind. Stephen Roth virtuously described the emotions and inner thoughts of his characters.


Having spent most of her life in the northern hemisphere, Valda Taurus is inspired by stories of survival in extreme situations, whether it be a natural disaster or an inner psychological struggle. She has a Masters in Sociology and a Minor in Psychology. Thus, it naturally flows in her manner of being an avid and judgment-free people observer. On the path to turning herself into a writer, she completed an advanced fiction writing course. Inspired by her imagination, she decided to write her first novel appealing to the subject of some psychological problems such as the feelings of guilt and self-accusation.



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