Source: I received this book as a free review copy from the publisher.
Back Cover Description:
The FBI has a secret weapon. But now the secret's out.
When missing teens begin turning up dead in a small Southern town, the FBI sends in Special Agent Samantha Cash to help crack the case. Her methods are invisible, and she never quits until the case is closed.
Homicide detective Connor Wolfe has his hands full. His relationship with his headstrong daughter is in a tailspin, and the string of unsolved murders has the town demanding answers. Connor is running out of ideas--and time.
Samantha joins Connor in a race against the clock to save the next victim. And the killer starts to get personal. Too Close to Home ratchets up the suspense with each page even as love blossoms in the face of danger.
Too Close to Home is a fast-paced romantic suspense novel. The characters were likable and realistic, and the romance was very nicely done and realistically awkward at times. The world-building was good, but in a few places I questioned if the police, FBI, or EMS really would do things that way in real life (like an ambulance taking away a dead body when wounded living still needed help).
The suspense was high, but I didn't really enjoy it in the first part because the main characters kept doing foolish things that put them in danger (like they tried to get the killer to come after them and Samantha was nearly killed at her home, yet she went to stay with her sister without taking any security precautions). But this wasn't a problem in the second part. Also, the bad guy in this novel was clever, and the case was very interesting.
The killer was one of the point of view characters and the author didn't try very hard to conceal his identity, so I realized who he was a long time before our heroes did. While this did create some suspense, it also made me frustrated that our heroes took so long to pay attention to the clues that were now especially obvious to me.
There were several Christians in the novel. Christians were portrayed realistically, with both the good and bad shown. The character's beliefs were worked in as a meaningful part of their lives. I really liked how this was handled. The novel wasn't preachy, and it didn't settle for the pat answers for evil and suffering but went deeper.
There was no sex and no bad language. Overall, I would recommend this novel as enjoyable, clean reading.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
Excerpt from Chapter One
"Wake up, partner," the voice rumbled in his ear as Connor Wolfe's sleep-drugged mind struggled to keep up. "We've found another body. In a dumpster behind the BI-LO off East Main."
He shifted the phone and glanced at the clock.
The number 2:08 glared at him. Great. Just the way he wanted to start his Monday morning.
"Be right there." He hung up and closed his eyes for a brief moment before gathering the energy to swing his feet to the floor. Two hours of sleep. Well, he'd gone with less. However, at the age of forty-two, he seemed to feel the lack a lot more than he did ten years ago. Shaking his head to fling off the fog of interrupted sleep, he headed for the shower, wondering if he should wake up Jenna, his sixteen-year-old daughter, or just hope she slept through the rest of the night.
He settled on leaving her a note. Fifteen minutes later, hair still damp, he directed his unmarked Ford toward the crime scene. His partner, Andrew West, would meet him there.
First a cop, then a homicide detective with SLED, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, Connor had seen a lot in relation to crime, but this case had him by the throat and wouldn't let go. Six disappearances and now three dead bodies--and very limited evidence. The first girl disappeared sixteen months ago. When the second victim disappeared two months later, speculation ran rampant. Were the vanishings related?
Read more of chapter one.