3.75 stars rounded up
Full disclosure, while Josh Lanyon is still a solid dependable author for me, but I haven't been fully satisfied with anything she had released in the past two years. So I came to this one feeling a little skeptic and trying to tamper down any expectation. Also, knowing Lanyon's brand of romance, I though I'd better focus on the mystery part rather than the romantic portion.
Okay, I grudgingly admit that this was better, especially if I had to compare it with Lanyon's latest full length mystery novel, Winter Kill
. I found the mystery to be compelling, and I enjoyed not being 100% certain about the murderer; even though I knew there were clues thrown along the way.
I liked the progress of tentative partnership between Behavioral Unit Analysis (BAU) Senior Special Agent Sam Kennedy and Special Agent Jason West from FBI Art Crime Team. I would love to read more from Kennedy's side of things, though, since the whole book was written from West's perspective.
I also liked the tone of the small-town ... I imagined it held a lot of secrets somewhat, that our special agents haven't discovered.
BUT, I was still frustrated with the "too-stupid-to-live" moment that West did near the end; he should've known better. I was close of hitting the desk with my head. West acting like a spoiled whiny child, and I hated it when my characters did that way, worse in a mystery/suspense book. I mean, West is an FBI agent
, for God's sake, even if he is from Art Crime Team and not BAU!
Also, I felt a little bit let down with the answer to the mystery. I guess it felt rather anti-climatic.
But like I said, I thought this was one of Lanyon's better. Of course, I also need to wait until next year for the next in the series. Hopefully the schedule is firmer.