FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Reads. A positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts.
This story was fascinating. I enjoyed the psychological vibes strung throughout. The pacing was great, as was the setting of small-town Georgia. The journalism angle was well used, though I would have liked to see Vivian working on articles or something even while working on unraveling the mystery for the bigger piece. I thought the journalism was perfectly countered by the other lead’s being a cop. There was a natural push-pull chemistry between the news writer and the police officer, which made the romance quite believable and organic.
One plot twist—no spoilers here, don’t worry—seemed to be used mostly for a shock factor, which was disappointing rather than a shocker for me. There were zero hints or clues that I saw (even looking back on the path to get there after I was already to that moment), so it didn’t seem very logical. I’m not saying I have to figure out everything along the way; I love it when I’m surprised or shocked or whatever over good plot twists that I don’t see coming but can usually see hints of in hindsight. The surprises work better for me, however, if they don’t feel like they’re being used mostly to manipulate my emotions. This was a big moment in the story that ended up pulling me out of the climax for a few minutes when I really wanted to stay invested.
Overall, this was a great mystery. It was a good addition to the Harbored Secrets series, and it left me ready to read the finale when it comes out.
Content: one expletive, drugs, alcohol, teen prostitution (mentioned but not shown), gambling, one crude sexual term, skimpy clothing (mentioned only a couple of times)