Saturday, December 24, 2016

Review: Waking the Dead by Kylie Brant

Title: Waking the Dead
Series: Mindhunters
Author: Kylie Brant
Read copy: eBook
Published: November 3, 2009
Publisher: Berkley
ISBN: 1101151218
ISBN-13: 9781101151211


Forensic anthropologist Caitlin Fleming knows bones. So she is the first one called when seven sets of skeletal remains are found dumped in a makeshift graveyard in the Oregon wilderness. The skeletons bear the same distinctive marks—and each is minus a skull.

Cait needs outdoor guide Zach Sharper for one reason only—to help her find her way through the Willamette Forest as she pieces together clues. Despite the attraction that burns between them, Cait will let nothing shake her focus. Until the killer closes in to terminate the search - and the investigators on the verge of unmasking him...

My rating:

Seven skeletal remains (sans the skulls) have been found in a cave in Oregon and former teen model turned forensic anthropologist Cait Fleming, one of the Mindhunters, is called to lend a helping hand in identifying the remains, determine whether there are signs of foul play, and find the bad guy.

Roped in by the sheriff, former Army Ranger turned wilderness tour guide and quasi-hermit, Zach Sharper is tasked with the duty of chauffeur for the big-city consultant, but soon finds his initial grudge morph into swift attraction and respect.

But the twisted killer with a strange skull-fetish is already choosing his next victim...And he's set his eyes on Cait.

Yet another winner in this excellent and edgy series. Ms Brant is very adept at writing romantic suspense (with equal amounts of suspense and romance).

Great plot, wonderful pacing, one heck of a sick UNSUB, two perfectly human leads with an almost equal amount of emotional scars under their steely masks, great tension, even greater chemistry, a few suspicious secondary characters, gripping suspense, steamy romance...All combined into a perfect little story.

Loved the suspense, but loved the budding romance and explosive and steamy love scenes between Cait and Zach. And I loved it how the romance didn't slow the pacing down, never intruding into the main story, but adding an extra edge to it with those little slivers of fear whether the two might actually have a future beyond the current case. Such stories are my absolute favorite and this one fits the bill just right.

The suspense was yet again top-notch, edge-of-the-seat, nail-biter until the very end with the twist-y and turn-y plot, false leads, new clues, red herrings, and that special guessing-game quality Ms. Brant does so well. I knew what kind of relationship the killer and his Sweetie had, so the big reveal didn't come as a surprise, but their identity sure packed a punch...And the gun-blazing finale shot my heart up into the stratosphere only to be slammed back down in dread in that suspenseful swan song in the last chapter.

Wonderfully written and chillingly gripping as always.


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