BRAND NEW RELEASE and
(Details at the end of the post)
Greg Jenkins can’t find his sister, Sam. It’s not like Sam to miss work and not communicate with her family. Trying to track her movements and figure out where she could be leads him to a dating agency called Dinner for Twelve. The police don’t seem to be getting anywhere on this, so Greg decides to go undercover to get the information he needs. When he shows up for his first dating event, a love match is the furthest thing from his mind. In the midst of interrogating the agency’s clients in an attempt to uncover information about his sister, Greg meets up with Megan Brighton. Megan’s not really looking for love either, she’s just keeping her best friend, Brenda, company. Megan is sympathetic, but really has no information to offer Greg. When Brenda suddenly turns up missing, however, she finds herself more vested than she thought. Is someone from the dating agency involved? Will they be able to find Brenda in time to save her?
I was thrilled to receive this brand new release by Vicki Tyley. I’ve read her other three books (“Thin Blood,” “Sleight Malice,” and “Brittle Shadows“) and really enjoyed each of them, so, as I began, I was anticipating another great read. One of this author’s true talents is presenting a beginning that draws readers into the story and keeps them engaged until the very end. I never felt this story dragged, and I was reluctant to put the story down until I had read every last word. I genuinely liked and cared about the characters in the story. They were developed to the extent that a good balance was reached between the action and the characterization. I was pulled into the story because of the experiences of the characters, and it was written in such a way as to encourage my sleuthing right along with Megan and Greg. The number of characters was perfect for this sort of mystery; just the right amount to provides lots of opportunity to throw me off the trail (numerous times), but not so many that I forgot who was who by the end. I think this author provides a great example of how to balance plot events with characterization so that one doesn’t far outrank the other, both playing equally important roles.
Another thing this author does masterfully is throw some twists into the plot. Once again, I pegged the wrong killer. Numerous times, in fact. Midway through, something happened that threw me for a loop and caused me to completely rethink my ideas…and then were were off and running again. I think almost everyone fell under my suspicion at some point in the story, even people normally thought of as innocent bystanders. I love unpredictability in mysteries. Even though it seemed like the author was setting one or two characters up as apparent suspects (which, of course, will cause the reader to immediately dismiss them as too obvious), the number of characters made for a constant guessing game as to who was really guilty. The only thing I could predict going into the read was that it would be unpredictable.
The author’s writing style is fluid and that provides for a smooth and easy read. One thing I’ve commented about in my previous reviews of this author’s work was the presence of abrupt changes between chapters. In one review, I likened it to a “blackout,” where you wake up and can’t quite figure out what just happened. I really noticed a difference in this story. There were only a few abrupt changes, as compared to previous stories, and the next chapter backtracked enough to explain what had happened. So instead of seeming like a constant source of confusion, it seemed more like a purposeful technique. I never had that dazed and confused feel that I’d experienced in other books. I was never really a step ahead of the story, but I never felt beind the eight ball, either.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: A Vicki Tyley book is always a good bet. In the four books I’ve read, I’ve never felt disappointment. I always leave feeling entertained. Although the author exhibited strong writing skills from the get-go, each book seems to show slightly more refined development. When I think about the awarding of stars (my least favorite part of reviewing, by the way), I find I’m sitting somewhere around a 4.75. But I don’t do 4.75. I loved reading this book, I love seeing the development in the writing skills and the easy, fluid readability factor. I didn’t want to put the book down, and it was immensely enjoyable. After giving out a few 5 star reviews in a week, I find myself giving yet another. Is it my fault some very talented authors released new books in the same month? I think not– it’s simply my good fortune!
5 /5 stars
Now, for the best part! This author has graciously provided THREE digital copies for giveaway! To win, all you need to do is leave a comment here on this post (comment link on at the top right). Leave your email address and whether you’d like the book from Amazon (for Kindle) of Smashwords (for Sony, Nook, and all other ereaders). Help spread the word about this giveaway to support this great indie author. It’s never required, but my goal is truly to get the word out about authors who are worth reading, and that helps! (Giveaway ends August 27th).
For those impatient “Gotta have it now!” people (I don’t blame you), this book is:
(**Use THIS coupon code at Smashwords checkout to get the book for $.99! BZ39D)