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Monday, January 3, 2011

Closure by Rie McGaha

Closure by Rie McGaha
Publisher: Champagne Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full Length (188 pgs)
Heat Level: sensual
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Fennel

High in the hills above Albuquerque, New Mexico Detective Zachariah Ellison arrives at the scene of a murder, and not just any murder, but one that definitely falls into the 'gruesome' category even for a seasoned cop like Zach. When another body is found murdered in much the same fashion, Zach knows he’s got a serial killer on his hands, and to top it off he’s got an assistant district attorney hounding him about the case. As Zach tries to investigate the crimes while sidestepping nosey Amy Logan, a third body is found and Zach hasn’t a clue as to whom the perpetrator might be.

Amy Logan has worked hard to put herself through school and pay for law school on her own and now that she’s secured a position as assistant district attorney in Albuquerque, she’s determined to do everything she can to be the best prosecutor this office has ever seen. And as if luck was following her, she’s been assigned to the biggest homicide case the city has ever seen. The only problem she’s having is the homicide detective who’s leading the investigation—Zach Ellison.

I like the author’s fluent writing style, and her character’s, good and bad, were well depicted. The growing attraction between Zack Ellison and Amy Logan develops into a believable love that warms the reader’s heart. It is not long before you are routing for these two, damaged people to take a chance on each other. She weaves an intense love story around dark tragedies that impact on the future and threatens the lives of both hero and heroine. Ms Gaha creates strong secondary characters who all enhance the story as they play out their parts.

There are pros and cons of adding the POV of the criminal into the mix. It's certainly not easy to achieve a smooth transition to the criminal’s POV successfully. And in this book the author confused me because on two occasions I thought she was still in the heroine’s perspective, when in fact she’d moved on to murderer’s POV, and that simply did not make sense. So I was pulled out of the story while I went back to re-read the sections to see what I’d missed. Whatever it was, I continued to miss it. Because of this, I failed to connect with the heroine as closely as I’d have liked, until near the end of the story when cause and effect became clear. This misdirection was a shame because in reality Amy is a wonderful heroine.

I was well into the story before all the different points of view fell into place. Like the hero and heroine, I could empathize with the murderer, but that empathy vanished with the third, and what appeared to utterly gratuitous, murder. The author clearly stated the perpetrator did not plan to carry out the third crime.

This book is not for the faint-hearted. It opens with graphic and explicit crime-scene descriptions that disconcerted me the first time I read them, but as the book progressed and I read two more variations on the same theme, I wondered why, in a romance, the cause of death required these repeated explicit details.

Still, the author’s easy-to-read writing style is a pleasure to read. Her characters are fully developed which made for an enjoyable book. Even the ‘shock’ sustained by the intrepid pair created a laugh, and I sighed with great satisfaction when Zack and Amy overcome both internal and external conflicts Ms. McGaha so skilfully set in their paths, and found their happy-ever-after.

If you enjoy darker romantic suspense novels, this may be exactly the right book for you.