This RITA® Reader Challenge was written by Lori. This book finaled in the Romantic Suspense category.
Plot Summary: When a teenage girl dies in a suspicious fire, Detective Olivia Sutherland is assigned to track down the arsonist. Then she discovers something more sinister: a vicious blackmailer who preys on young people and murders without hesitation. Making her work even harder is sexy firefighter David Hunter. He’s not only sharing the case but sparking memories of their long-ago night of passion, when feelings were left unspoken and hearts were broken.
David has his own ghosts, and a million regrets. But while he and Olivia try to face the wall of pain between them, a diabolical puppet master is pulling strings to make a group of twentysomethings do his bidding. Soon Olivia and David are scouring the city for a calculating criminal who seems tantalizingly close—and is moving in for the kill.
And now, Lori’s review:
I couldn’t wait to read David Hunter’s story, and it didn’t disappoint. I loved how honest David was, and how he and Olivia fought for their relationship. Suspense aside, the rest of the story was a beautiful romance and also a great friend story. Rose excels at that, even in the midst of spine-tingling suspense.
As for the suspense: Rose uses certainly one of my biggest fears in order to propel her villain. While the villain is revealed to us somewhat early, his motives certainly are not. I cared about most of the kids in this story, and what happens to them is shocking. Rose is one of the best at writing the thriller. I love how she keeps me on the edge of my seat with every book.
If I had one niggle, it was this (and it’s one that will sail over 99% of readers’ heads): one of the characters is an Orthodox Jew, and when he dies, his family speaks about going to Temple. I’ve never heard an Orthodox Jew refer to their house of worship as ‘temple’. It’s either going to synagogue or to shul. The reference was made only twice, but the first time, it really threw me. Also, a good deal of space was dedicated to Olivia telling the family that Joel would want to do teshuvah; which is a word that essentially means repentence. I could be wrong, but while sitting shiva may be an experience a homicide detective might be familiar with, I had a hard time believing that a police officer in Minneapolis would be familiar with Teshuvah. New York, maybe, but Minnesota? But we have a friend from MN, an Orthodox Jew, and he told me there’s a large Jewish population there. Who knew?
Anyway, my anal-retentiveness about religion aside, this was another fabulous read from Rose, and I can’t wait for her next release!