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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Marked for Murder by Melanie Atkins

Marked for Murder by Melanie Atkins
Keller County Cops Book One
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (117 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Aloe

Detective Jonah McKee and his fellow Keller County Cops believe a beautiful amnesia victim is the key to solving a brutal serial killer case -- until a terrifying twist forces Jonah to hide his three year-old son and go on the run with the frightened stranger in order to save her life.

She needs a safe place to hide. He needs a babysitter for his two year old son his ex-wife has just saddled him with. Maybe they could help each other out?

This is a top notch suspense story. Jonah is a homicide detective, and Keller County has a serial killer in its midst. The killer tortures and murders women, then wraps them in a tarp and dumps them. The only surprise when Jonah goes out to see the next victim they’ve found is that ... she’s still alive!

The author takes two different stories and weaves them together to make a strong story line. Jonah is an alpha male with a young son. Brooke, the main female character, is a battered woman trying to run from her prior fiancĂ©, and it’s very easy to empathize with a woman who has been beaten so badly she lost the child she carried and can have no more. The two characters each have their own history of hurts, and trust is something they slowly build as they try to stay away from the killers.

The story moves quickly and it doesn’t take long before Jonah realizes there is more to her story than Brooke has revealed. While they are playing cat and mouse with a killer, he needs to know the whole story and this causes some tension between them. The man who wants to kill Brooke is very smart, and he manages to stalk them quite accurately, so you can feel the fear pick up as the story moves along.

The interplay between the two main characters is realistic and the danger is real, so you’ll keep turning those pages to see how this one ends. I found it an excellent read and am glad to see it is Book One in a series so I'll get to revisit this place and its characters. I highly recommend that you check it out, too.