All the Beautiful Brides

Rita Herron. Amazon/Montlake Romance, $12.95 trade paper (341p) ISBN 978-1-5039-4550-0
Poorly fleshed-out characters with even poorer motivations for their actions undercut this contemporary romantic suspense series launch from Herron (the Slaughter Creek series). In Graveyard Falls, Tenn., a body has been found with a rose stuffed into its mouth, mimicking the method used in a series of grisly murders years earlier. FBI agent Cal Coulter is called in to consult, and as he investigates, he does his best to ignore that the town is where his best friend’s widow, Mona, has moved. Mona wants to look into her family history, and only knows that she was born in the town around the time of the original murders. There’s certainly the core of a solid suspense plot here, but so many choices—including Mona’s inexplicable delay in starting her own research, the FBI’s choice to send Cal in before the cops have had time to investigate the scene, and the sheriff’s railroading of the original investigation—seem arbitrary and forced, and few of the twists are worth the reader’s time. Agent: Jenny Bent, Bent Agency. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/03/2015
Release date: 09/15/2015
Genre: Fiction
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