Ella and Detective Liam Hunter try to uncover a link between the killings and keep the body count from multiplying—before someone comes after them. Readers will warm to Ella’s sincere interest in the fight against good and evil, her dogged determination to find justice for her longtime friend and her brother, and Chapman’s expert handling of the material, which never loses sight of the human stakes in favor of thrills. Detective Hunter, meanwhile, is a bit more mysterious than his unexpected partner, especially as he enters Ella’s life, though readers will soon expect that he’s one of the good guys. As well, Chapman’s cast of supporting characters—especially Ella’s flamboyant neighbor Tony, who ultimately plays a key role in the outcome—shine.
Lively pacing, a plausible plot, and crisp, forward-moving prose will attract a wide variety of thriller lovers. Mystery fans will be engrossed in trying to work out the identity of the bad guy (or is there more than one?) from a well-developed cast of likely characters, but Chapman’s skillful plotting— complete with numerous tantalizing red herrings—power the narrative, keeping readers guessing until the final page is turned. Ella and Hunter make a memorable pair, and readers will look forward to future installments of their adventures.
Takeaway: This taut and well-written mystery/thriller will keep even the savviest amateur sleuths guessing up until the tale’s end.
Great for fans of: Mary Higgins Clark, Karen Rose, Kay Hooper.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A