Lee Christine has written several romantic suspense novels before venturing into crime fiction (which she does a great job at, I need to add), but because I’m new to Christine’s work and hadn’t heard of the setting of this novel, I kept thinking it was written by Charlotte Pass. So if I’ve slipped below and quoted Pass’s writing, I apologise in advance.
I’ve not read any of Mandy Magro’s books before though heard of the Far North Queensland-dwelling author who has over a dozen novels to her name.
This appealed as it sounded as if it included some suspense and though I don’t read ‘romance’ I don’t mind romantic suspense. (Or apparently books featuring ‘romantic elements’ which I hadn’t realised was a sub-genre of some sort!)
When ticking the ‘genre’ of this book for this post I added romantic suspense because – though not generally a fan of ‘romance’ as such – I was completely taken with the burgeoning romance that underpinned much of this novel.
The book opens as our two leads, Alice and Noah meet, and I adored their relationship and the way it grew. It felt… well, um romantic. Of course it’s hampered by a backstory of long-kept secrets, guilt and death, so it’s not all rainbows and kittens.
I love Nora Roberts’ romantic suspense novels. They usually offer up a good balance of the two, which is important given my love of thrillers and suspense and antipathy towards romance. (As such.)
Interestingly, though this includes some suspense, it’s kinda short-lived. It grapples with some unpleasant themes (domestic violence and family violence, so trigger alert for some), but the thing I enjoyed most about this book was, in fact, how the romance played out and the relationship between our two lead characters.
This is actually the first book I’ve read by Australian author Sarah Barrie though she’s penned the Hunters Ridge series and I understand this is loosely linked to her 2018 release, Blood Tree River.
I kinda guessed the ‘whodunnit’ part here which is eventually partially handed to us. The why wasn’t as predictable though and sets up the suspense in this book quite nicely.
I don’t tend to read historical fiction unless it’s intermingled with the present, so this book didn’t jump out at me when it arrived (despite the Australian edition’s beautiful cover). However, I decided I’d give it a go as there was something about the blurb that made me think about Agatha Christie’s A Caribbean Mystery, Evil Under the Sun or The Mystery of the Blue Train.
Fatal Inheritance by Tammy Cohen (writing as Rachel Rhys) wasn’t really a hardcore whodunit requiring a Belgian detective or woolly but whip-smart spinster however. Instead it’s an intriguing story with delightful characters and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it.
Holly Seddon is best known for her debut novel Try Not to Breathe, which I very much enjoyed (giving it four stars), though I note I also gave her second book, Don’t Close Your Eyes, four stars as well. So, Seddon is consistent. As am I, though realise my role here is far easier than the months/years Seddon would have toiled over these books!
There’s something unfortunately timely about this book, which centres around a mass shooting in the US.
Although Nora Roberts sticks to what she does well – romantic suspense wrapped in personal drama – here she also explores the impact of such an event on the survivors, and lasting effect it has on their lives… both good and bad.
Tragedy doesn’t necessarily change us. More often, I think, it brings out more of who we are – or were – all along. p 214
It’s a good thing I enjoy Karen Rose’s novels of romantic suspense cos the last couple have been freakin’ huge.
If I’m being honest, I usually avoid books over 400 pages… thinking my attention span won’t survive them. Plus… more often than not the escapism I enjoy from books is meant to be short lived. Not something eked out over days and days.
Thankfully I’m a fast reader and although this is 600+ pages, it wasn’t overly (or even at all) arduous. *Mops brow with back of hand and swoons.*