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This book starts with a murder, committed by an unnamed person, of a loathsome human being. A man with money and power, who bullies everyone around him. No one in the small Idaho town is sad to see him die, including local sheriff Jim Lawson and the man's estranged daughter Hallie Cavanaugh. It is this murder, and its aftermath, that take center stage in this fourth book of Rosalind James' "Paradise Idaho" romantic suspense series.
Although the previous books in this series seemed to focus more on the romance, this one falls much more firmly on the suspense side, and I think it's better for it. The story kept me guessing, right up until the very end, on who the murderer was. I thought I knew, then I changed my mind, then I changed my mind AGAIN, then I was wrong anyway. The mystery was a good one, and the action built up from small acts to deter Hallie from staying in town to fulfill the (unfair and frankly bonkers) terms of her father's will, to the killer's truly sinister intentions. I kept reading because I wanted to know who did it, and what they would do next, and I fell for just about every red herring sent my way.
The mystery was compelling, but Jim and Hallie's romance was also a draw. They had a brief, tragic fling in high school, and hadn't seen each other in years. Jim is a widower with a young daughter, and Hallie has perfected the art of running away. Their relationship wasn't easy, or full of the usual lighthearted flirting and banter in a typical romance novel, but it was sincere and engaging.
Overall, I really liked this book, it was well-written, well executed, and compelling all the way through.
This book can be a stand alone listen.
Brittany Pressley was good with the narration of the story, however, I think the dual narration in the first two books was superb.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
I love that now Deputy Jim gets his chance at love and we find out his back story and how he ended up a cop in his hometown. Deputy Jim may have always been a good guy but he has always been on the right side of the law? It's very interesting to see what happens when Jim's first love comes back to town and stirs up all kinds of conflicts in his family dynamics. And as usual in this series, Rosalind James writes stories with a mysterious and/or intriguing subplot and this one is no different. For such a small town, Paradise has a whole lot of criminal intent. The best part of the story is how Jim and Hallie overcome the obstacles, including family complications, to their relationship,
The narration was okay but would have been better with the duet style narration of the first two books in the series. Brittany seemed to narrate with a bit of a southern drawl that didn't make sense.
Absolutely worth price. I would pay it all over again.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
This is the second book I have purchased on Audible by this author – I have read many of her books on kindle. Unfortunately this is only slightly better than the last one (which I did not finish). The quality of writing was, as usual, excellent, but I had issues with the plot line.
The h was a product of an abusive father and ineffectual mother. Her father cruelly and brutally ensured her separation from the teenage H as he was “from the wrong side of town”. 15 years later, her father’s will stipulates that the h moves back to her home town, near the H, but she cannot have “sexual relations” with the H for six months, or she forfeits her inheritance. This did not make any sense: The h and H had not had any contact with each other for 15 years, during which time the H was happily married (now a widower) so what made the father decide that six months abstinence would be a problem? Furthermore, it would have been almost impossible to legally prove that a sexual encounter had taken place unless illegal means were used, and revealing details which would mean the perpetrator would have to come forward, which would also expose his motives.
Naturally, the H and h were unable to control themselves and behaved like two horny teenagers sneaking around to meet for sex, with one particularly unappealing encounter being in the girls’ changing rooms at the school where the h is a teacher and the H’s daughter is a pupil. Not exactly the behaviour of mature and responsible adults, and not at all erotic, just a bit sleazy, more so when you remember the H is the town’s Deputy Sheriff!
A lot of people will love this book and I can recommend the author, but I think in future I will stick to the kindle versions of her books rather than audio versions.
Story solid and well executed, thought I knew who done it but was obviously wrong, initially. Just a few niggles which stopped me from giving a 5. That aunt F needed taking down a peg or two and Harley just wasn't gutsy enough to and I found that irritating. Also Jim was this adoring husband to his deceased wife but I didn't feel like he had that same depth of feeling for Harley other than the passion - that line wasn't really full circle for me, I found I really didn't like the deceased wife which made me feel bad because she was dead! But she was made into this icon whom the heroine wasn't balanced enough with. Harley forgave Jim far too easy when he made his passionate declaration about his first wife, I wouldn't have wanted to blatantly play second fiddle.
Lastly I absolutely rate the narrator as bringing books to life in terms of her voice changes etc but there was something about the quality of this audio that was really poor, the chapters were bitty, there was funny static feedback sounds in parts and I am sure I heard traffic in the background at one point which just didn't make for a good experience.