Friday, August 17, 2012

SUNNY: BOOK REVIEW - "If You Hear Her" by Shiloh Walker

Lena Riddle
Ezra King (Love the name Ezra)

Ezra King is a detective with the Kentucky State Police on leave recuperating from a near fatal shooting in which his partner and lover are killed. He continues to try and heal his mind as well as his body. Lena Riddle is a independent, well-liked chef and long time resident of Ash, who is also blind.

One night, Lena wakes up to sound of screams for help coming from the woods near her home. She reports it to police, but they are skeptical that it is more than just Lena’s dreams. The truth is that there is a serial killer on the loose and now it’s a game of cat and mouse to find him/her before it is too late.

I loved, loved, this book. This is the near perfect romantic suspense novel. It is well balanced and so satisfying. If You Hear Her is Book 1 in the Ash Trilogy.  Being the first book in a trilogy, there are more than a few characters introduced in this story. Not only do we have the main characters, but also the leads in the next two books - Remy Jennings and Hope Carson (If You See Her) and Law Reilly and Nia Hollister (If You Know Her). They are somewhat quirky characters representing the privileged, the battered and beaten, the guilt-ridden and the crazy, paranoid, scattered mind of a creative writer. Because of the underlying story that runs through all three books, instead of Book 1, it feels like Act 1 in a play. I expect that we will see the entire story unfold over the next two books and with this start, I highly anticipate an explosive conclusion.

I thoroughly enjoyed the relationship between Lena and Ezra. They both bring baggage into their union. Lena, being completely blind since her teenage years, is fiercely independent and has fought hard to be that way. Ezra is guarded and feels damaged because of his trauma that almost killed him. He has crazy nightmares that keep him in a constant state of fatigue. But he is also fiercely protective of and attracted to Lena. After a few stumbling stops and starts, their mutual attraction leads to some sizzling interactions that left my Kindle on fire and me needing to stand in front of an A/C.

Ash, Kentucky becomes a minor character in itself. From the dense dark woods surrounding the town, to the people who live in it, the place plays a role in setting the tone. And to me, one of the most memorable elements of the book is the moody, eerie tone of the book. Maybe because although we are involved in the story of Lena and Ezra, when we read about the serial killer, it is through his/her eyes in the first person perspective. It is a little creepy but it keeps the story taut and suspenseful.

For a deeply satisfying, suspenseful read, get yourself in a well air-conditioned room and read this book!

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