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Monday, May 27, 2024

At the River by Kendra Elliot, Cover Fire and Fire and Ice by Dustin Stevens, and A Stranger in the Family by Jane Casey.

 I haven't been reviewing, but I've been reading a lot.  Now, it is time to cut down on the gardening, and start some reviewing.  (Today is predicted to be 95 degrees, and the heat index has made it feel 7-10 degrees warmer for the last week.  I'm taking those heat warnings seriously now.)

I'm a fan of this series featuring FBI Agent Mercy Kilpatrick and her husband Police Chief Truman Daly.  The murder of a true crime podcaster investigating a twenty-year-old murder sucks both Mercy and Truman into the puzzling case.  Five teenagers went camping, one was murdered; one survived, but is damaged; and three were never found.  Twenty years later, the questions remain--what happened to the three missing teens and what did the podcaster discover that led to his similar death?

I thoroughly enjoyed trying to figure out the twists, but the conclusion felt contrived and less believable.

However,  nothing that distracted me from the pleasure of revisiting these characters again.    

Suspense/Procedural.  353 pages.  2024.

I chose not to read the first book in this series because it started with the murder of former DEA agent Hawk Tate's wife and child.  Decided to skip straight to the second book, which deals with a young photographer who inadvertently witnessed a cartel human trafficking transaction in the desert.  DEA agent Mia Diaz seeks out Hawk to protect the young woman, who is now a target.

The plot is full of action and suspense, as Hawk tries to keep the young woman safe.  A bit predictable, but you know that if it is a series, the MC is going to be around for a while.  I then went on to the next book.  

Suspense/Thriller. 2015.  Print length: 374 pages. 

From blurb:  "In the middle of a rare mid-April blizzard in eastern Montana, a young emergency room doctor steps outside to help the occupants of a truck that arrive in the middle of night appearing desperate and in dire need of aid.

Only once she is too far removed from the safety of the building does she realize their true intentions, the entire incident just beyond the scope of the front door cameras, everybody disappearing into a swirling storm of wind and snow."

More of the same action/suspense as in Cover Fire.  This time Hawk must rescue Dr. Yvonne Endicott from a meth operation gone wrong.

Sometimes this is all I want--a fast read with lots of action.  This kind of suspense doesn't require much of me and lets me relax.  Sounds strange to think of it that way, but like watching an action movie, I know the hero will survive, so I don't have to worry.

Suspense/Thriller.  2016.  Print length:  326 pages.  

I've followed the Maeve Kerrigan series for several years, but I must have missed the previous one, which left me at a bit of a loss on a current situation.

When Bruce and Helena Marshall are found dead in their beds in what looks like a murder/suicide,  DS
Maeve Kerrigan questions the scene.  The scene has been staged, and both Bruce and Helena have been murdered.

Sixteen years earlier, their adopted daughter disappeared and tore the family apart.  Kerrigan and DI Josh Derwent can't help but wonder if the murder has anything to do with the missing (presumed dead) Rosalie.  The "perfect" family was not perfect even before Rosalie's disappearance and details not previously available make that clear.  

 As usual, the plot and plot development is right on target; however, having missed the previous book, both Maeve and Josh feel...different.  I must go back and pick up The Close.

Jane Casey is one of my favorite writers, and I'm looking forward to book 12.

Police Procedural. March 14, 2024.  Print length:  463 pages.


  1. My insomnia has lessened lately. It might be time to try reading again. Maybe I can attend to the books now ...

    1. Good luck on being to focus on books again. Insomnia is exhausting!

  2. I haven't read any of these authors but I'm seeing them mentioned more and more lately, especially Kendra Elliot. The humidity seems to be adding a whole lot of heat index degrees in the last few days. I went out this morning to clip some too-low-hanging branches from a few trees and ended up quitting before the job was finished. It really sneaks up on you. Take care.

    1. Kendra Elliot has more than one series, but I got hooked on the Mercy Kilpatrick series several years ago with its emphasis on the Pacific Northwest.
      I know, Sam. The heat and humidity have been something else. The predicted Monday high of 95 turned into 98, but then Tuesday a cool spell set in! An appreciated relief!

  3. I haven't read this newest Jane Casey book as yet, but I think I saw someone else mentioning that the dynamic between the two protagonists has changed some. I think I did read The Close, but I honestly don't remember anything about it. Perhaps I should reread it and then go on to this one. And, yes, watch the heat. It's been mega-humid here in our area, but the wind has come today and the humidity is down and also the temps. Ah, welcome to Texas in the summer. Ha!

    1. Yes, I missed the last book, but definitely a change in the dynamic that I wasn't expecting.
      Yesterday, a cool spell moved in! So wonderful to have a little less humidity and less heat. I hope you aren't in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Kay. The damage looked awful!

  4. I loved At the River! But then any book with Mercy and Truman; they're such favorite characters. :D And I haven't read any of that Dustin Stevens' series, but they sound like they'd be entertaining summer and fun.

    1. It is this characters in these books! I like seeing Ollie get more time--I like Ollie a lot. The next book should be interesting. :)

  5. Isn't it funny how mysteries/thrillers are a great way to relax? Same for me too! I had no idea Jane Casey was up to book 12! I need to get back to the series but often fall behind on them.

    1. :) Mayhem and murder and relaxation don't seem to go together, but they evidently do for an awful lot of readers. I'm behind on so many series right now, even those I thought I was keeping up with!