Rosie’s Review-A-Book Challenge #RRABC #RomanticSuspense A Critical Tangent by @reily_garrett

Today’s challenge reviewer is Alex Craigie

Alex has been reading A Critical Tangent by Reily Garrett

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Keiki Tallerman, a student in her final year, has a talent for designing drones. In the opening scene she is flying one of her latest prototypes from her student room and communicating through its microphone and camera with her friend Shelly in a field by a wooded area. As Keiki puts the drone through its paces she witnesses Shelly’s brutal murder and becomes a target for the killer.  Past experiences have instilled a distrust in the police which undermines the growing attraction between her and Nolan, the detective whose protective instincts towards her are sometimes at odds with the evidence stacking up against her.

There are so many characters in the beginning that I did find it hard at first to keep track of them. As this is the first in the series, it shouldn’t be a problem in successive books for readers already familiar with them.  The first scene packs quite a punch and sets the tone for the rest of the novel and kept me turning the pages to find out what happened next.

The personalities are well drawn and the spark between Nolan and Keiki fairly zings off the page. The author uses the device of letting different characters narrate the chapters so that you see the situation from a variety of viewpoints and perspectives. Keiki is feisty but vulnerable, Nolan is strong and caring, and the killer is sadistic and terrifying.

The dialogue and interactions between the characters keep the plot moving on but occasionally the language used would pull me out of the scene. “Rare was the occasion she incurred awkward emotions around men” is one example where the vocabulary seemed clunky and unconvincing. This may simply be down to differences between the American and British market and, having said that, these were rare blips in an otherwise fast-paced and genuinely thrilling narrative.

I particularly like the insight I was given into drone technology and police procedure and I’m sure this is the beginning of a gripping series. A third of the way in, I’d have given this book a 3* rating but once the characters kicked in and I became caught up in the plot I rounded it up to a 4.

Book description

She doesn’t trust cops…
He’s an iron-willed detective who doesn’t know whether to cuff her or kiss her.

Keiki Tallerman is a strong-willed tech prodigy whose life is shattered when her drone captures video of her best friend’s bizarre murder.

Experience has taught her good reason to not trust any police officers, especially when the hard-boiled detectives come knocking on her door. Their suspicions narrow when the second of her trio of friends disappears without a trace from their small urban community.

Conflicting evidence at a disturbing crime scene leaves gossamer threads weaving a complicated web of lies and deceit. Every clue Detective Garnett finds steers the investigation to a deep, dark network entangling the young coed in a labyrinth of cunning subterfuge.

Unable to piece the evidence together, Garnett is torn between following the letter of the law and protecting the amateur sleuth determined to clear her name. Add a large dose of mutual attraction and sparks fly.

Can he earn Keiki’s trust in time to save her life, or will the psychotic killer destroy the woman who is crushing his emotional defenses?

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Of #RomanticSuspense SEEDS OF MURDER (Moonlight &Murder #3) by @reily_garrett

Seeds of MurderSeeds of Murder by Reily Garrett

4 stars

Seeds Of Murder is book three in the Moonlight And Murder series of romantic suspense stories.

When out hiking, biologist Darby and her mentor Basil are attacked by an artificially seeded cloud which directs skin-burning acid rain on them. Someone has weaponised her mentor’s experiment and used it against him.

clouds and rain

Urged to run for her life, Darby seeks out Private Detective Nick Tucker, a former friend of Basil’s, for help. Together they uncover a plot of evil and greed while Darby becomes a target whom Nick vows to protect.

The concept of seed clouding gives this plot a modern feel, without the science going over the head of the reader. The author uses characters from previous books, both civilian and professional which I enjoyed meeting again. The chemistry between them all works well and they welcome Darby into their friendship group with ease. There are a couple of lovely dogs who hold important roles, which should delight canine fans. The tension is interspersed with lighter moments of teasing and camaraderie, many of which heighten the romantic element in the story. Overall a good addition to this series.

two dogs who are best friends

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book description

Witness Darby Loughlin shifts from hunted to hunter in this spine-chilling thriller of murder, greed, and romance.

On a secluded mountaintop, Darby Loughlin witnesses her mentor’s death during an afternoon hike. It’s murder. She knows it but has no proof. The killer isn’t present, nor does he leave traceable evidence.
Teaming up with former police officer turned private investigator Nick Tucker is a distraction and unwelcome necessity. Unfortunately, she lacks the skills and tools needed to trace the camouflaged assassin.
Straddling the law has never been a problem since her moral compass points true north. This time, however, she must work with authorities to gain insight into a world to which she doesn’t belong.
As the snarl of lies and deceptions unfold, Darby and her K9 partner struggle to stay ahead of the killer who’s selected her as his next victim.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Of #RomanticSuspense PIVOTAL DECISIONS by Reily Garrett

Pivotal Decisions (Moonlight and Murder, #2)Pivotal Decisions by Reily Garrett

4 stars

Pivotal Decisions is book two of the Moonlight And Murder romantic suspense series.

This story is set in the Florida Everglades and involves virtual reality gaming technology. The book opens with a gruesome murder scene; a man so lost inside the gaming world behind his goggles that he appears not to notice his legs have disappeared. But why is he sitting on a chair in the middle of a swamp and why did the predator take only his legs?

Augee knew his best friend Jinx was worried, so when he received an odd text asking him to meet Jinx at a strange location, he invited wildlife ranger Sabine along too. What they found was horrifying. Concerned that his past might misdirect the police investigation Augee asks his estranged brother for help. Coyote Waylin hadn’t been back to Florida for six years, but he’d always tried to put his family first, even if it meant hurting the ones that he loved.

I liked this story, particularly how the animal life of the area enhanced the murder thread; it made me shudder several times. While you don’t have to know much about virtual reality gaming to follow the narrative, its theme just gives the story a ‘current’ touch. There are a couple of romance threads, one that overlaps from book one and a new one for Coyote. We first met Coyote in the previous book and I already liked his manner and principles; it was good to see him as a main character in this story.

Although this book could be read alone, I believe it would be more enjoyable when read as part of the series. Ideal for those who enjoy a murder investigation and who don’t mind mixing it with a reptile or two.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book description

She carries a gun for a living…
but never expected to be a target.

Sabine’s early morning hike ends with discovering her friend sitting in a chair by the canal and gazing at the sunrise. Peace and serenity pervade, except, he’s dead.
To discover the how and why of his death, she must first survive the shrewd killer intent on removing human collateral and regaining lost technology.
Coyote Waylin hasn’t set foot in the Everglades for six years, not since the night he broke his brother’s jaw and saved his sister’s life. After receiving a desperate call from his sibling, he rushes south to untangle a web of murder and intrigue.
Together, Coyote and Sabine sort the snarled web of lies and deceit while struggling to maintain their personal space. Failure to thwart the ingenious killer could result in untraceable mass murders.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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