Publication: April 12, 2016
The riveting new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Liar.
“She stood in the deep, dark woods, breath shallow and cold prickling over her skin despite the hot, heavy air. She took a step back, then two, as the urge to run fell over her.”
Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous. No matter how close she gets to happiness, she can’t outrun the sins of Thomas David Bowes.
Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, a rambling old house in need of repair, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the kindly residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton.
Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But the sins of her father can become an obsession, and, as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.
When I heard about this book coming out, I was excited. I don't think I've ever read a story where it focuses on the child of a serial killer parent. The story started off strong...it grab my attention from the very beginning.
You get a good glimpse of Naomi when she was 12 years old along with her younger brother Max being forced to essentially leave their home the town they grew up in because of what their father has done. Their mom struggles a lot with the reality of the situation. Thankfully Naomi’s uncle comes to help them out. Life for all three of them from that point on is anything but easy.
Fast forward about 18 years later and Naomi is in her early 30s. She has just moved to a new town in hopes of finding a good life and possibly drawing some inspiration for her photography business. Once she discovers this old grand house on the edge of town that is in need of lots of love and work she knows that this is where she belongs. She settles in very nicely in the small town. She grudgingly takes in a stray dog, hires a local contractor to begin work on her house, and even manages to meet a cute mechanic/musician. Life is starting to become really good for her. But of course nothing good ever lasts forever. It isn't long before dead bodies start showing up around town and people become afraid that a serial killer is in their midst.
I love that Naomi has such a close relationship with her brother Max at her uncles. I also really enjoyed the townspeople. They were super warm and friendly to Naomi who was essentially an outsider. They accepted her really quickly.
The romance in the story was nicely done. It wasn’t cheesy and it wasn't overly dramatic. Naomi and Xander are attracted to each other almost from the first time they meet. But given her past, Naomi is pretty hesitant to start any kind of relationship. The chemistry was nice they balance each other out Sordo's and I thought that Xander was really good for Naomi.
I did enjoy getting the background on Naomi and how her past shaped who she is now in the present. She struggles with trying to overcome her fears and have a good life, but Naomi doesn't believe she really deserves true happiness because of her past.
The only thing but I didn't absolutely love in this story unfortunately was the mystery. I guessed who the bad guy was pretty early on. It was easy for me to spot and because of that I felt like it took away from the mysteries/suspense part of the story. And the reasoning behind everything felt just so so to me. I like my mysteries where I cannot guess who the culprit is and why certain things are happening until I get closer to the end. Where I don’t see it coming. While it was a good story I just wish there would've been more mystery/suspense to the story. I wish that there would have been more red herrings scattered throughout the story. Overall, I did enjoy reading the book. It was easy to get into and the beginning grabs you. I just didn't end up liking it as much as I had anticipated I would.
RATING: 3 out of 5.
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