Blurb: New York Times bestselling author Tanya Anne Crosby returns to the teeming marshes and crumbling plantations of Charleston, where a gruesome murder and kidnapping reawaken fears of a serial killer on the loose. . .
Augusta Aldridge believes in Ian Patterson’s innocence, even after he was arrested for killing two young women and mutilating their corpses. Because she was with him the night one of the crimes occurred, hidden in the shadows beneath a beachside pier, locked in a wild, unthinking embrace with the man whose dangerous fascination may have fatally lured the other victims. Now that another body has been found, the police suspect a copycat killer, but Augusta is sure they have the wrong man behind bars. She’s going to risk her reputation, and her life, to prove it. . .
Review: As the second book in this series, I didn’t see any improvement over issues I ran across in the first book. There were some problems with character history that ended up being contradictory between book one and book two. Some were small, but not insignificant, like getting one of the victims last names wrong at one point.
Another was quite a bit bigger and really bugged me. In book one we have a line about Augusta’s past…
“She’d traded the vice for both her smoking and drinking habits about five years ago, after she’d realized she was turning into her mother – running around permanently anesthetized and sucking on cancer sticks as though she had a death wish.”
Yet early on in book two we get this line…
“In that way, she was a lot like her mother, and if it weren’t for Augusta’s intense dedication to being nothing like Flo, she might have ended up a pill-popping alky like their mother.”
While they do not 100% contradict each other, there is enough there to throw a reader into thinking that they read something wrong. The fact that there are multiple times in both books where Augusta is shown as drinking in larger than light social amounts either negates the first statement from book one or means that the second statement is more a lie she told herself. Either way, they don’t add up to a solid background for her character.
As in the first book, I really struggled with the believably of the romance aspect of this story. Augusta blindly believes in someone (who she doesn’t know jack squat about) who has been suspected of not just child molestation, but been ex-communicated from his church, as a priest no less, and been arrested for murder and the attempted murder of her sister. Not only that but she manages to totally fall in love with him after only having been in his presence about 3 times over a few weeks. Instinct and believing in following your gut only takes you so far and this takes me right into not happening land.
The other big issue I seemed to struggle with here, well more than one actually, are the number of times the police not only share important information about the case with public sources but they really jump to conclusions without really investigating and confirming the evidence. The way the investigation and crime solving aspects of the story have been presented really made this one even harder to like than the first one.
I was also a bit shocked at where and how this ended, not so much the actual resolution, but the fact that we actually got one. I really thought that this would extend into a third book as there are 3 sisters and we didn’t get anything of Savanah’s story. There may yet be another book, but since the main part of the suspense line of the story got resolved here, I can say there is probably a good chance I won’t bother because the personal side to both book one and book two were lacking enough that a book three without the suspense/mystery line just won’t be enough to draw me in.
So, yeah, this was just okay, but even that might have been pushing it a bit.