cover image You Will Suffer

You Will Suffer

Alexandra Ivy. Zebra, $7.99 mass market (363p) ISBN 978-1-4201-4379-9

Suspense and romance are uneasy partners in Ivy’s uneven rural Oklahoma thriller (following 2018’s What Are You Afraid Of?). Defense attorney Ellie Guthrie is still in the early stages of establishing her own law firm in the small town of Curry, Okla., over her parents’ objections. Maintaining her independence also means turning down the romantic advances of her neighbor, former FBI agent Nate Marcel. Ellie is one of the targets of a spate of crimes and questionable situations, including the overdose death of Daniel Perry, local ne’er-do-well and son of the former sheriff. His body was found in a field with a tangled history that involves longtime residents of Curry. Ellie and Nate assume responsibility for investigating, lacking faith in Curry’s dismissive and ineffective sheriff, Gary Clark. Satisfyingly steamy encounters between Nate and Ellie feel jarring amid the crime scenes, and their actions pushing the boundaries of legality seem out of character, marring the reading experience for fans of both thrillers and romance. Agent: Evan Marshall, Evan Marshall Agency. (Feb.)