cover image Dead Girl Running

Dead Girl Running

Christina Dodd. HQN, $15.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-335-14436-2

Bestseller Dodd’s new thriller takes place on the dark, rainy North Pacific Coast. Kellen Adams is running away from a past she can’t completely remember. After a stint in the army, she becomes the assistant manager of an isolated resort in Virtue Falls, Wash., where she makes an effort to hire fellow veterans. She’s comfortable leading the hotel team until she discovers a woman’s mutilated body on the property. With Sheriff Kateri Kwinault (familiar from The Woman Who Couldn’t Scream) not close enough to provide consistent support, Kellen reluctantly investigates the hotel staff and guests to determine whether they might be behind the gruesome murder. She doesn’t know whether to trust a guest claiming to be a government agent investigating a smuggling ring; the hotel’s security adviser, who is hiding in bushes hoping to catch a smuggler in the act; or the hotel owner’s nephew, who unexpectedly arrives to lend his assistance. A series of twists and turns lead to a surprise ending, but this story won’t completely satisfy readers seeking the emotional payoff of Kellen’s discovery of her lost past. Still, Dodd does a masterly job of maintaining suspense. Agent: Mel Berger, William Morris Endeavor. (Apr.)