And it all came down to this! In the last installment, the very last lines reveals ‘the who’ of the story. It was shocking and devastating for me. I needed ‘why’ so badly. And beyond that, the truth also revealed that no one, absolutely no one is safe. Like the others in this series, I loved the couple, their situation, and the variation of slow burn romance, friendships, and nail-biting intrigued. This was it, for all the marbles, and the author brought it all home fantastically.
Yes, this is book four and the grand finale of the series that absolutely must be read in order. I will do my level best not to leak any spoilage and as a result, I might be vague with the summary. Just trust there is absolutely more going on than what I focus on- but what you get will be plenty to hook you in. Hopefully.
The story opens with things around town settling a little into baited breath waiting after the events of Ellie Price getting shot, Baxter Price disappearing yet again, the Meth dealing King brothers neutralized, and a killer still on the loose. Sheriff’s Deputy, Chris Jennings, along with the rest of the Search & Rescue squad are all working from their own angles to find the solution.
But when not on duty, Chris has been visiting severely agoraphobic shut-in, Daisy Little, his long-time friend. Her dad and Chris are the only people she sees from outside the house. Chris comes to work hard as her self-defense trainer and seems to want to ignore her attraction and just be friends.
For eight years, since the violent death of her mother, Daisy has stayed locked inside her home. Double entry doors, metal window coverings on the ground floor, and the internet keep even a whiff of air from getting in. The sight of the outdoors without the protection of her upstairs windows puts her unconscious from an anxiety attack. And like Alfred Hitchcock’s famous’ Rear Window, Daisy watches her neighbors at night through her bedroom window which is why she sees a Sheriff’s vehicle parked across the street at three in the morning and a dark figure lugging a tarp-wrapped object over his shoulder to the back and leave. It looked very much like a body and that boot that fell out and got tossed in with the tarp bundle leaves her heart pounding.
A call to Chris also brings his skeptical boss the sheriff around. The sheriff takes her observations with a grain of salt convinced she’s delusional and likes to make up things since she’s locked away from the world. But Chris? He takes her seriously and calls in Lou, Callum and the rest of his posse to compare notes and see if this latest incident is part of the ongoing HDG investigation.
Slowly, the group works toward a solution, but each move has a counter-move by the person watching from the shadows and ready to kill again to protect the answers they seek. And now in the killer’s crosshairs is the woman who notices so much from the windows of her home- a home that is fast becoming a death trap if she can’t find the courage to leave it.
The author gave up the killer at the very end of the last book with a jangling cliffhanger. But this was the beginning because the motive was still hidden. This book is narrated by Daisy and the HDG killer and a few others, notably not the hero. It was exciting getting the story from both sides of the equation.
Now on a side note, I have to say that my heart broke a little when I learned who the killer was and that was true through this story. I was so conflicted over it, but I knew the killer had to be stopped.
So, this story, like the ones before it, took an aspect of Search & Rescue, but this time it was the police element with Chris’ job as sheriff’s deputy since he’s the hero of this one. Chris has been present as a side character through the whole series and fell under some suspicion himself. But this was the first encounter with the heroine. I find it interesting that the author paired each S&R hero with a heroine of unique situation and background. Daisy is severely agoraphobic and it’s due to an incident in her past. Chris is considerate and careful with her, but never once does he think she is less than brilliant. Daisy finds her new situation as witness to be the catalyst that sets her moving away from her past and willing to work toward treatment and full health. Chris encourages her by trying to get her dad to take an interest again after his wife’s death and sending her Lou and the other women to befriend and support her. Daisy is no cringing weakling. She is shut in, but she works out in her home gym and learns self-defense from Chris.
I found it interesting that unlike the last few books, this hero doesn’t get any point of view time though Chris is as easily understood as Daisy in many ways though he acts odd around her at times and I was curious what was the trouble. They make a good pairing and the slow burn that eventually got scorchy paired well with the build of the suspense, too.
The round-up at the end was brief and I was startled by the abrupt ending though thank goodness it was a true end without the series of cliffhangers I’ve gotten with the others.
So, this was abso-fab and I’m sad to say good-bye to the Search & Rescue folk though I had a great time with each book including this last one. Those who enjoy romantic suspense with a slow build plot and romance with quirky small mountain town characters should give these a go.
My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #313 RS