Title: You Belong to Me
Author: Karen Rose
Page Count: 512 pages
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Genre: romantic suspense
Copy for review obtained via NetGalley.com in anticipation of an honest review
50 words or less: Part murder mystery, part forensic/police procedural, part romantic suspense. This book has it coming and going- an old atrocity, new atrocities, a little sizzle, twists, turns, and an ending that the reader has to work for. Take this one to the beach!
I'm a newcomer to the world of Karen Rose books, but after finishing You Belong to Me it definitely won't be the last. This book is an excellent mashup of a police procedural along the lines of John Sandford's Lucas Davenport books combined with the gory psychological squick of Jack Kerley with a dash of Nora Roberts thrown in to make things interesting.
Sure, there are the normal idiosyncrasies (why is a medical examiner interviewing a murder victim's family, even if she was close to them?) that seem to pop up in these sorts of books. I was able to overlook them in this case because the story really grabbed me- details and layers are revealed with each passing chapter- the story is definitely the star here, moreso than the setting or the characters.
If anything, I have to say the characters were something of a disappointment- Lucy, the medical examiner, is something of a wilter, despite everyone talking about how she never loses her cool. J.D., the homicide detective, is so gorgeous your eyeballs fall out when you look at him and has all kinds of emotional baggage that would stunt a regular person but somehow lend him depth and intrigue. The secondary characters are okay- I know from the endnote from the author that we'll be seeing more of them in future books.
Anyway, this is a story where many threads come together, and in this case, all roads lead back to Anderson Ferry; it's from there that we see the start of the twisted trail that lead not only to multiple murders, but the complete rocking of the foundation of Lucy's life as she realizes that her past is littered with scumbags.
The path that J.D. and Lucy take to happily ever after is a dangerous one that's filled with emotional potholes. I was way more interested in how they were going to end up as a couple and how they were going to catch the killer and finally reveal all the secrets than I was in their internal struggles.
There are two parallel, yet interconnected stories going on here- the story of the murders that Lucy and J.D. are trying to solve, and then there's the angle of a PI firm that's trying to track down a client who's gone a litle too deep undercover. I thought the way that these two stories interacted was definitely unique.
This book weighs in at a little on the longer side too, which is nice because we get more details that contribute to the plot than we probably would have in a shorter book. This is a good candidate for a beach book.
Overall Grade: B
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