When this book came out, I only had space for a special feature and excerpt. But after reading the excerpt, I was excited for this one and knew that I simply had to make room for it on my review calendar! I am thrilled that I did because this one was a good one! I haven’t read anything by Laura Griffin before but I have feature a few of her books and have had them on my radar for a while. Now that I have read this one, I went out and downloaded four more of her books because I loved this one so much! It was exactly what I needed!
I read this one in basically two days. It was so good and I was hooked instantly. The thing that stood out to me about this book was the location and disappearance angle. I LOVE National Parks and nothing hooks me like a mysterious disappearance! When I was pregnant, I was so sick and basically laid in bed watching crime shows on TV. One of my favorites was Disappeared. I am absolutely baffled by people who just go missing. There is no closure, only speculation. So when I saw this book had this angle I was totally on board to read it.
Not to mention this book has been popping up on a number of ‘must read’ lists! I’ve seen this one recommended in romantic suspense, suspense, mystery, thrillers and on the best seller lists around the blog-o-sphere and knew I just couldn’t pass this one up! And now I have found a new to my author that I absolutely love and have a few new books added. to my fall/winter reading lineup!
When a cold case in Texas leads to a sinister string of disappearances, a newcomer to the small town helps a detective piece together the clues in this new romantic thriller from New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin.
Corporate lawyer Ava Burch has had enough of the big city and the daily grind. She grew up with her father, who raised search-and-rescue dogs, in rural Texas and has moved to the small town of Cuervo to spend time in the dry, rugged wilderness near Big Bend National Park. When she and her dog, Huck, discover an abandoned campsite on a volunteer search-and-rescue mission, she’s perplexed, but she carefully photographs it all the same.
All Grant Wycoff can see when he looks at Ava is a city slicker–with her designer jeans and shiny car–who has no business on a serious team made of seasoned outdoorsmen and retired cops. But when she tells him of her findings on the trail, he sees there’s more to her than meets the eye.
Ava’s discovery reminds Grant of the unsolved case of a young woman who went missing two years ago. As they look into the campsite further, another woman disappears under odd circumstances. With time running out, Ava and Grant must work against the brutal heat from both the Texas sun and their own electric chemistry to solve the case. (summary from Goodreads)
This book had so much going for it! I loved the disappearance angle and how things unfolded. At first I thought I had it figured out but then it went in an entirely different direction. I loved Ava and her sweet pup Huck who played a big role in this book! I loved that they worked together for Search and Rescue and thought that added an interesting perspective. Living in Oregon, I have worked with a few people who are part of our Search and Rescue. It’s always been a fascinating conversation topic! In Oregon we have a lot of vast wilderness and also deal with extreme and fast changing weather situations so I always admire and am intrigued by those who choose to do Search and Rescue. I loved this part of the story and thought the author did a great job showcasing that job and how it worked in conjunction with law enforcement as well as park rangers. A lot of very interesting content and info in this book.
I also loved the little romance between Ava and Grant. It wasn’t the focus of the novel but a fun bonus. I thought it helped break things up within the story and keep readers engaged and connecting with the characters on a personal level rather than just seeing them as characters who help solve crime—I think it personalized them for me and I loved watching their romance unfold. It was also steamy but not overly so, I still felt like this book was firmly in mystery with an added romance rather than having romance be the focal point. There was one thing that I thought was a little bit of a distraction and that was the romance between Grant’s partner and Ava’s friend. It didn’t really add anything to the story and I felt like they could have had their own book and had their romance and connection be feature in it rather than having them thrown into this one. Personally it felt unnecessary and didn’t add much for me.
But overall I loved this book and was fully engaged in the mystery and loved how the characters worked together to solve the case. It was a quick read that moved along really well with interesting characters as well as an unexpected plot that unfolded. I mean I loved it so much that I gladly bought four more books by her! This is a standalone book and I am eager to read more from this author, especially her The Texas Murder Files Series—the first one I am currently reading as I write this up! I absolutely agree with all the ‘must read’ lists—-don’t miss this one! It’s a solid read and I absolutely loved it!
Book Info and Rating
Format: 336 pages, Kindle Edition
Published: October 25th 2022 by Berkley Books
Review copy provided by personal collection. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 5 stars
Genre: romantic suspense, suspense, mystery