Friday, February 13, 2015

Deadly Echoes by Nancy Mehl | RE:View

Sarah Miller is a teacher in the small town of Sanctuary. Still fighting echoes from her unhappy past, she is determined to move on. Her best intentions are brought to a halt when she's informed of her sisters death from Paul Gleason, the Deputy Sheriff in Sanctuary.

But was Hannah really killed by a burglar? If so, why was her death so similar to their parents murders?

So begins the mysterious path Sarah and Paul must travel to uncover the truth.

This was my first interaction with Nancy's writing and, though I knew there was a previous book in the series, I didn't feel too left out starting on book 2 first. With that said, I wasn't sure what to expect. I hardly ever read the back cover blurbs before jumping in because I want to be surprised by the book itself. I do form opinions based on the cover though and the genre the author writes in.

With that said, I had...different expectations for this book. I assumed there would be much more suspense and intrigue than there was. Without giving anything away, I didn't really feel "gripped" by suspense until the later fourth of the book (if not further). I also found that I wanted more from the characters. I wanted to feel Sarah's emotion pulling at my own heart or feel the tension of attraction between her and Paul.

In all, the writing was solid, though the dialogue was a little stiff a times. The plot was intriguing, though could have used more motion through some parts. The resolution was good and I found myself satisfied with the ending even though I expected it.

I would recommend this to fans of mystery and romantic suspense who are looking for a "low key" option in both regards. It won't keep you up at night, but it will give you enough intrigue to satisfy that mystery-itch. The romance itself is very minimal and more intellectually portrayed. If you're looking for something a little more fast paced or emotional, I would say you won't necessarily find that here.

Rating: 3.5*
Purchase: Deadly Echoes (Finding Sanctuary)

Book Description
(from Nancy's website)
After years of upheaval, Sarah Miller’s life is finally settled with all echoes of the past stilled and silent at last. She spends her time teaching the children of Sanctuary, a town she is happy to call home.

When the sister Sarah hasn’t seen in years reappears, it stirs up hard memories of the past and their parents’ murder. Even so, Sarah’s joy at being reunited with Hannah and meeting the niece she didn’t know she had is too soon interrupted when Deputy Sheriff Paul Gleason informs Sarah her sister has been killed.

As Sarah learns more about Hannah’s death, the circumstances seem eerily similar to her parents’ death. She enlists Paul’s help in digging deeper into these murders the police are dismissing as burglaries gone wrong. Paul’s concern encourages Sarah’s growing feelings for him, but as their investigation peels back the layers of lies almost twenty years old, they get close to uncovering the truth one man will do anything to hide–even if he must do away with the last remaining members of the Miller family.

///SPOILER ALERT///

I feel the need to share this, not to spoil anything for you about the book, but to voice my slight frustration about the characterization of Paul. I take my hero's very seriously ;)

I really liked Paul's chracter in the book, though it was hard to get a complete feeling for him (or their romantic feelings) based on the limited view we get from Sarah. The only "bone I have to pick" is in one portion where he is "expressing" his interest in Sarah without ever saying anything! He invites her to things or asks her if they are "just friends" but he never out-right asks her if she would be interested in going on a date and says he was "about to give up". What? He never even tried! Sarah was coerced by Janet into saying something to him. That didn't sit well with me.

Maybe it's just my idealism in the situation, but I want to see a hero who speaks up. Who risks embarrassment or rejection to say what he's thinking. If it's something he struggles with, okay great - let's see him over come that, but in this case it's limited to first person so that wouldn't work as well.

This, of course, doesn't negatively color the whole story. It was just a portion I felt the need to point out in my desire for the characters to be more. More emotional, more thoughtful, more in the sense of depth. :)
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I received a free copy of this book for review purposes, but was under no obligation to read the book or post a review. I do so under my own motivation and the opinions I have expressed in this review are honest and entirely my own.