Synopsis: Deacon Novak has returned home. The experienced FBI Agent knows that his move to Cincinnati's Major Crime Enforcement Squad will be challenging, but the greater challenge will be saving his younger brother before he becomes the kind of criminal Deacon is chasing.
Faith Corcoran has escaped her identity. Being a therapist to victims of sex crimes was rewarding, but her work with their offenders has jeopardized her life. Her move represents a chance to build a new life in the empty old house her grandmother has left her.
What Faith doesn't know is that a killer has made the house his playground, taking girls into the basement and murdering them. And now Faith is about disturb his fun.
With a murderer focused on her, Faith is going to have to put her trust in Deacon if she's going to survive. Because this killer is always closer than she thinks....
Well as the year draws to a close I decided to take a look at the books that I had read and rated as 5/5 from 2013. I have then taken the liberty of sharing them with you so if you are struggling to find a new book, and haven't read one on the list maybe give it a try. The list is NOT in any kind of order as I couldn't possibly decide what books were better as they are all slightly different.
Stevie Mazzetti knew she would never get over the murder of her husband and son. But with their killer behind bars, she was able to move on with her life, if only for her daughter's sake.
Now, eight years later, the Baltimore detective always fights for the victims she meets and when she learns that her ex-partner may have miscarried justice, Stevie's determined to right the wrong, even if it means she is in danger.
Clay Maynard has always wanted Stevie and when she is targeted by a vicious psychopath, he believes that protecting her may give him the chance to have her in his life forever. Clay will do anything to keep Stevie safe but with a killer on her tail who has everything to lose and a secret to hide, will they stay alive long enough to find happiness?
I have read nearly all of Karen's books and rarely read one that I don't love. When her newest book landed on my doorstep a few days ahead of publication (thanks to the Publishers) I was excited as I ripped open the package. However, my excitement was replaced with shock as even by Karen Rose standards this book was a humdinger at 544 pages. With the synopsis read in seconds I poured myself a brew and immediately got stuck in.
For this that maybe haven't read any Karen Rose books this book, along with any other can be picked up and read in any order as a stand alone book. For those that have previously read Karen's books, you will see familiar faces from previous books. IN Karen's last book PI Paige Holden is the main character along with State Attorney Grayson Smith. Both Paige and Grayson return in this book but as the background characters to both State Attorney Daphne Montgomery and FBI Agent Joseph Carter.
What I loved about starting this book was not only being introduced to Daphne and Joseph, but seeing what other characters were up to in their lives. Daphne's son Ford Elkhart is actually the main focus of this book and he is kidnapped and only recalls what happened when he wakes up on a cold dark floor and realises he is tied up and being held. The book takes an immediate dive into the kidnapping and we see many chapters start to form threads. I was totally and utterly engrossed and found myself being drawn back to the book every time I attempted to put it down.
There are numerous threads and people to keep track of and at the halfway mark I had to take a breather as I realised I needed to get it all straight in my head?!? I had block read at least 250 pages and felt like I had overdosed on crime! Luckily a good nights' sleep sorted that out and the next day I resumed reading the rollercoaster ride of a book! The characters Daphne and Joseph each have their own demons and skeletons and as the story progresses we see the layers of their pasts slowly peeled back. I liked the suspense you are kept in, even though I am the most impatient person. As usual the actual crime scenes are written vividly leaving a somewhat sour taste in my mouth at times, but by no means put me off!
Joseph and Daphne are both characters I really liked but the two that really pulled at me were Clay and Stevie. They were only in the book for small periods of time but I SO want to find out what happens there (I just know I'm going to have to wait on that front!). The plot itself had plenty of twists and turns and kept me guessing until the very end of the book. The one thing that stood out this time round was the sex! Yep, that's right people I did say sex! Karen Rose is a great crime writer, but her genre (if people care to check) is romantic suspense. It irritates me when people grumble about this in her books because it's what she does, and believe me when I say it's what she does best. Karen Rose surprised me this time round and at times I wondered if I had inadvertently picked up a Jackie Collins (not a bad thing in my book!).
All in all, this book, although long even by her standards, was an absolute cracker. Karen Rose is first class at these sorts of books and this one didn't disappoint. As usual, you are in for a bumpy ride which will have you reading from morning until night. Highly recommended.
One thing I want to make clear is that this book along with all of Karen Rose books falls under the genre of Romantic Suspense. Now I am a fan of both romance and crime so the mix of the two doesn't bother me at all. For those that want zero romance, you may want to look elsewhere. For those that, like me, quite like that element of the book then get yourselves out and get a copy of her latest release.
No One Left To Tell starts as it means to go on when we see Paige Holden make her way to a pro bono clients house. The story starts with a bang as Paige witnesses Elena Munoz gunned down and while Paige is trying to save her, Elena whispers in her ear and sets off the chain reaction that will turn her life upside down.
Paige as a character is very easy to like, a lady that has her own past and is trying to make a fresh start in a new city. When Elena Munoz dies, Paige is determined to get to the bottom of the secrets she was holding. We also meet Grayson Smith, who also has his own secrets but has made a success of himself as an attorney.
Paige meets Grayson and together they try to piece together the evidence they have and set about finding the killer for numerous murders. This book, even by Karen Rose standards was quite a long one but this one seemed more intricate in detail. The storyline keeps expanding with new possibilities and leads at every corner.
At just over the halfway mark I couldn't put it down, and although it got more and more complicated and dangerous I just had to keep reading. The list of crimes that they uncover, seem get longer by the hour with murder, corruption and suicides to name a few.
As usual we also get to meet a whole host of other characters such as Grayson's family along with some familiar faces. One of the things I love about Karen Rose books is that I have read them all so the feature of some characters is an added bonus for me. We get to see Detective Stevie Mazzetti, Investigator Clay Maynard and Dr Lucy Trask who all feature in other books.
The pace is kept up from start to finish and although the book is lengthy it kept my interest from the first page to the very last. This book is a fine example of Karen Rose's brilliant writing. Once again, I will have to wait impatiently for the next instalment.
One thing that tends to irritate me is people that read a book and then complain about the content, it's either too romantic, or doesn't have enough. Karen Rose writes romantic suspense, the giveaway is in the description! Having read most of Karen's books, there are still a couple I haven't got around to reading and this was one of them.
It doesn't take long to get down to the nitty gritty of the crux of the story. We are introduced to Kristen Mayhew who has a chance meeting with Abe Reagan in a car park and discovers a gruesome find in the boot of her car. It becomes apparent pretty early on that this killer is intent of proving himself and Kristen is right in the middle of it.
The characters are easy to get to grips with and Kristen, although pretty tightly sprung was quite vulnerable and likeable early on. Abe Reagan was another matter, but after another few chapters I began to understand his background and warmed to him too.
The story was quite gripping and we see the killers' perspective as he plots his next murder. However, having read most of her newer stuff, coming back to her second published book there was a marked difference. Karen Rose most definitely has some serious talent. However, I realised at the halfway point that my interest was leaning more towards the romantic side of the book; certainly not what I am used to when reading this sort of thing. I think that on reflection, in the early days the balance wasn't quite there and in more recent books the balance is just right.
Having said all of that the book was definitely a page turner and kept me reading until the very end. I liked the fact that were a few plot twists and to be perfectly honest I thought the romantic side was brilliant (just not everybody's cup of tea). The additional characters such as Mia (Abe's partner) and the Reagan family added some much needed interest to the story as we see the interactions with everybody change. I especially liked the progression of Mia and Abe as partners and thought she was a great supporting character. This certainly wasn't Karen Rose's best work, but is definitely still a page turner and an enjoyable read.
I am a pretty avid Karen Rose fan I must admit, and I have been slowly working through her older books I have yet to read. Before I started this one I glanced on other Amazon reviews to see what other people thought. One thing that frustrated me was a low rating this book was given due to the `romance' aspect of it. The one thing I do know about Karen Rose, and something potential readers should know is that her genre is `romantic suspense'. The genre kind of gives it away, but if you only want murder and mystery and no more then maybe this isn't for you. Myself, I see nothing wrong with a bit of romance and lust thrown in over a serial killer or two; I find it `lightens the load' so to speak.
This book in particular, like many others of hers, is not a short one. The hardback is a pretty hefty weight and all in all has nearly 500 pages. As usual, it took me no more that one or two chapters to be drawn into the book. Once you have read a few of Karen Rose books you realise that various characters appear in more than one book. Although this is the case each of her books can be read as a stand alone. We meet Eve who is a woman (previously featuring in another book Nothing to Fear) with a past. She is trying to rebuild her life after a terrifying ordeal where she was kidnapped, tortured and left for dead. She works part time in a bar while studying her thesis which involves an online game called Shadowland.
The first thing that struck me about this book is the fact that this was a perfectly believable situation. With the online gaming world taking off it put the fear of God into me while reading it (ridiculous I know)! Pretty soon after meeting Eve we meet Noah Webster who is a copper with his own secrets and past. Along with his temperamental partner Jack we see them dragged into a case which should be a simple suicide. It becomes clear pretty quickly that it isn't the case and before long they are dealing with a serial killer.
The story is quite long and detailed with numerous suspect possibilities and just when I thought I had it figured out, I realised I was wrong. I was wondering if this book was a bit too long but by the halfway mark I literally couldn't put it down. Yes there is a predictable element of romance within the book and some pretty hot and steamy scenes towards the end, but to be fair the people involved had a very bad week and I think it was deserved:-)))
As I have read a fair few of her books now, I wouldn't say this is my favourite but was still a riveting read as usual. Overall, another great book by Karen Rose and one that I would highly recommend.
When I received KR's latest book I wasn't surprised to see it was a humdinger of a hardback at 480 pages. This was actually something I relished, a meaty book that I could get my teeth into.
In the past Karen Rose has been criticised for her style of writing with some saying that the romance element shouldn't be there. I disagree and see nothing wrong in a crime or thriller novel having a splash of love about it.
In this particular book it took me no time at all to get straight into the heart of the story. The opening few chapters throw us into the world of Lucy Trask and the grisly discovery of a body. Lucy does follow a tried and tested type of character, a strong and independent woman with a murky past. I must say though, although it may seem a tires type of character, Karen Rose does it perfectly. Lucy Trask was a great character and a lot of the gripping elements of the story relate to her past and her current hidden secrets. JD Fitzpatrick is also a strong and cleverly written lead character. I wouldn't be spoiling the plot by saying that the love interest is not hard to work out in this book but it was done subtly.
As ever Karen Rose' strongest attribute is the crimes themselves. As usual we have a gritty and sometimes disturbing plot with a very high body count and a race against time before more people become victims. The crime scenes themselves are very descriptive and the tension runs pretty high too and I found myself sitting up a little more, and nudging my tush further towards the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen.
The story doesn't let up pace throughout the whole book and the ending was a pretty good round up too. Overall it took me around three days to finish the book which isn't surprising with the size of it. However, I didn't once get tired of reading it and the story remained fresh throughout. I think her stories only get better and she manages to keep it interesting with the characters she creates. Overall, another great book by Karen Rose and one that I would highly recommend.