cover image Don’t Look

Don’t Look

Alexandra Ivy. Zebra, $8.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-1-4201-5142-8

The latest romantic thriller from Ivy (the Agency series) suffers from a formulaic love story and a lackluster supporting cast, but nevertheless manages to build to an exciting and largely satisfying conclusion. Kir Jansen returns to his small Wisconsin hometown for his father’s funeral and discovers a cryptic note his father left for him: a list of five sets of initials. One set matches those of the town’s veterinarian, Lynne Gale, with whom Kir quickly forms a bond. When a local woman whose initials are also on the list is murdered, Kir and Lynne set out to catch the killer. It turns out that before Kir’s father died, he received a series of gruesome letters that seem to predict a killing spree, but local law enforcement refuses to consider a connection between the letters and the current case. The sheriff’s reasons for dismissing Lynne and Kir’s suspicions are frustratingly dubious, and readers will often feel one step ahead of the characters when it comes to solving the mystery. Kir and Lynne’s connection makes sense, but their lovemaking feels discordant in context. Once the pieces fall into place, the novel settles into an engaging rhythm—but many readers will struggle to get there. Hopefully, the next installment will strike a better balance. [em]Agent: Evan Marshall, Evan Marshall Agency. (Dec.) [/em]