Series: Karen Rose's Interconnecting Books, Cincinnati, OH
Author: Karen Rose
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: February 2, 2016
Homicide Detective Scarlett Bishop has seen enough bad guys slip through the cracks and too many innocent victims go unavenged to know good doesn't always prevail. So far she’s been able to lock away her rage and her vigilante fantasies. That lock is about to break.
Former Army Ranger Marcus O'Bannion is a fierce champion of victims’ rights. His secret past gives him good reason. He believes he’s seen the depths of human depravity, but then his investigation into the murder of a young girl who once asked for his help lures him and Scarlett down a dark, dark road—and straight into the crosshairs of a dangerous, powerful underground ring that deals in human trade. To stop them, Scarlett and Marcus have to be just as cunning and just as ruthless. But first they have to make it out alive.
They met nine months ago when he woke up in a hospital bed with a hole in his lung. She was captivated by his voice, he by her honeysuckle smell. Neither has forgotten about the other, but neither had made a move either. Now, they're thrust together again in the investigation of a young woman's murder, but this time they just might give it a go...If they make it out alive.
The "incident" in which we met Marcus O'Bannion was a minor plot point in the previous book, Closer Than You Think, but the subsequent meeting between him and Scarlett Bishop, the homicide detective partnering with Deacon Novak, packed quite a punch. Because those few pages carried more heat than the entire Deacon/Faith relationship, but that's just me.
Their own story had more heat and chemistry than the previous one, but that's a plus in my book. But, again, that's just me. I don't read KR novels for the romance, that's just a bonus, I read her books because of the plots. And those never fail. This one was no exception. The tightly plotted story flows nicely, keeping the reader on the edge of the seat wondering just what might happen next, and the "respite scenes" are perfectly placed to give the reader a breather before tackling the main plotline again.
What I love most about KR plots is the realism of it. Although it's fiction, it could happen to you, to your loved ones, in your neighborhood...The plots range from abusive relationship to human trafficking, but they don't sound fabricated, they don't sound fictional. And that's why they resound, make an impact. Because the story engages you, makes you think.
And the fact everything is interconnected by either minor plot lines or characters is an amazing feat all on its own, because it takes dedication and talent to connect every single book (even by a narrowest of threads) so that a passage or a mention of a previous character instantly sparks a connection to a previous book or a previous plot line. And guessing who the next couple would be is just so much fun. ;)
Anyway, this, as all the previous books, it's a thriller with a romantic subplot. A thriller that keeps you guessing, keeps you entertained, keeps you rooting for the characters and the victims, and keeps you turning the pages, sad when you inevitably turn the last one.
It brought it all. Great plot and suspense, just the right amount of (believable) romance, the few-days-long timeline, a slew of old and new characters that will keep the "series" going for books to come, a twisted villain...I can't wait to read the next one.