What can be worse than finding a dead body outside your apartment complex? For Crystal Cartwright, it's stepping over the dead guy with two young boys in tow. And the dead guy, Manny, is someone she personally knows.
Family Secrets by Jamie Hill
Publisher: Accomplice Press
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (161 pages)
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Stephanotis
A Cop in the Family Series
As if stumbling over a dead body isn't enough, Crystal Cartwright finds herself playing surrogate mother to two small boys when their father--her neighbor--doesn't come home. The kids aren't much trouble, but the thieves, drug dealers and kidnappers they're about to encounter are.
Detective Jack Dunlevy, a cop down on his luck, draws the cases no one else wants. A simple investigation involving a dead homeless man quickly changes as Crystal enlists Jack's help with the children. Drawn into a mystery that none of them could have anticipated, they're faced with a situation that will change their lives forever.
Enter Detective Jack Dunlevy of the Wichita Police Department about to embark on the case no one really wants, investigating the death of Manny, the homeless guy.
But things aren't all bad; the investigation brings him into the life of Crystal and gives him the perfect excuse to get to know her more. She’s a waitress at Moe’s diner and had a brief fling with her next door neighbor, Dave. These days she earns extra money babysitting Dave’s two young sons. Sound perfect? Not for long. Dave doesn’t show up and Crystal enlists the help of Jack to track him down. If one dead body isn’t enough, Dave shows up as a John Doe in the morgue and it seems he had lots to hide. Now Crystal is left caring for his two young sons. Someone thinks she knows about Dave and his double life. And she’s falling for Jack.
While I liked the book, the only factor that stopped me from giving Family Secrets a higher rating is this: I'm an avid reader of romantic suspense, and this story didn’t contain anything I hadn’t seen in this particular genre before. For example, from the start I sensed that Dave was on the shady side and that someone would think Crystal knew more about him and his dealings than she did and she’d be in danger. However, if you are new to reading romantic suspense and mysteries with a touch of romance, this is a good pick to start your collection because it's an entertaining read.
What I liked most about this book was the incredibly well-written characters. Jack was my favorite. In fact, I liked him from the moment he was introduced. He’s witty without being sarcastic, (exchanges some great one liners with Crystal) and great with kids, so what woman wouldn’t fall for him? Crystal is tough, knows what she wants and of course, one of her wants is Jack. All the characters, including the secondary characters were well written and the dialogue was smooth and natural sounding. This was a book I'd read again just for the characters.