A woman stalked by a serial killer and a tough FBI agent head up this thrilling, twisty, dark suspense tale and I was on the edge of my seat for most of the story. This book had so much going on and so many suspects and chilling moments along with some serious scorching bedroom action that I do believe I’ve found a new author and series to pursue.
Story opens with Faith Corcoran fleeing Miami to get a fresh start away from a bad reputation that wasn’t earned, a cheating ex, but most especially a deadly stalker. Only the trouble is that when she runs to her mother’s old family home that Faith inherited on the death of her grandmother, Faith runs smack into a horrid, sordid new set of troubles. The FBI find the coincidences that pile up around her and her family too much particularly when the past she tried to keep hidden may have bearing on the present.
Agent Deacon Novak is called in on a crime involving a tortured woman who claimed to escape a sadistic, mad killer and asks for Faith. Deacon doesn’t know what to think of the beautiful woman who claims her presence with the injured woman was a coincidence even though the woman escaped from the basement of her family home and knew to ask for Faith. He wants to believe her, but he can tell that she is hiding something. It becomes complicated fast when some of her secrets come out. Now he’s not sure what they’re dealing with. Did her stalker follow her? Did he have help? Does Faith’s family have a part in all this? Meanwhile the killer continues his work. Deacon and the rest of the local police taskforce soon realize they are dealing with someone truly evil who is still killing to cover his tracks and seems to have his sights set on Faith.
Faith offers to help because another woman is still trapped with this fiend and she feels guilt for so many victims the killer has claimed simply because they have been associated with her. She wanted to hate and mistrust all cops, but Deacon’s trust and belief and his dedication to his job and the victims gives her hope and a determination to find the killer and help stop him right alongside Deacon.
This book had so much going on that my summary is barely adequate. I didn’t want to giveaway any of the really good stuff or a hint to the truth. It was exciting and quite the nail-biting. There is a large body count and the killer is terrifying in his thought processes. Yes, the killer got narrative parts right along with Faith and Deacon and a few moments with the victims. This story was ponderous in its page count, but it never felt like it with all that took place. I must have suspected at least three people and I was right about one of them, not that this made a difference the way the action sequences went.
The character development and the romance were a nice balance with all the violence of the suspense side. The author took the time to build up good backstories for Faith and Deacon. There was lots of scene time with Deacon and Faith’s families that were mostly local. Faith’s family was mostly estranged and- well they were strange too so made for good suspects. Deacon’s family situation was tough and endearing. Loved his sister and brother and his desire to make them a family after all they had been through. Another fantastic interaction was with Deacon’s law enforcement team. The camaraderie was tight and good stuff. Would love to see more of all the characters in future books.
Deacon and Faith’s attraction came on fast and they got hot and heavy too. It’s so hard to put a romance with this sort of suspense because it seems weird having two people fall in love when there is this horrific killer slaughtering people and targeting the heroine all while the hero and heroine are falling in love. Now that’s not a complaint. Done well, I like that stuff if for no other reason than it gives a good note to all that darkness. The romance was a good one for me though I’m glad this was a long book and there were lots of scenes with Deacon and Faith. Some of it was the ‘we survived and I need to celebrate that’ sort of thing, but some of it was finding someone who saw the flaws and cared anyway. They were both smart people and handled things well under the circumstances. Gotta say that the physical description of Deacon was striking. Whew boy! That man sounds hot. Larger than life and superheroe-ish are pretty apt descriptions.
All in all, it was a powerful start to a new series that kept me on my toes through almost 700 pages of a nice balance of spicy romance and thrilling suspense. Those who enjoy their romantic suspense on the darker side should give this a try.
My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.