I received this book for free from the TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.How Secrets Die by Marta Perry
Published by HQN Books on June 28, 2016
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Romantic Suspense
Source: TLC Book Tours
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As Laurel Ridge embraces a stranger hungry for answers, a sinister truth is awakened
A hard-hitting reporter, Kate Beaumont unearths the deepest lies and brings harsh truths to light. But the story that lures her to the gentle town of Laurel Ridge, Pennsylvania, is closer to her heart than anyone knows. The details of her half brother's sudden death have never made sense. She owes him justice, yet the one man who can help her is the stubborn sheriff she can't stand.
Protecting his town is Mac Whiting's top priority. Everything else—including pacifying a beautiful crusader on a mission best left resting in peace—is secondary. But as Kate's search embeds her in his world and attracts a skilled criminal, she needs Mac's protection. Drawn together by deadly secrets, they must find a way to trust each other before a killer silences them both.
The troubling suicide of her half-brother has reporter Kate Beaumont traveling to the small town of Laurel Ridge, Pennsylvania nearly one year after the loss of her sibling, once she’s between jobs and can get away from her big city life. But what she thinks will be a short stay to dig up some information about his final days turns out to be increasingly dangerous as she gets closer to the truth about the mysterious circumstances surrounding his overdose in a cemetary the day he was fired from his financial company internship.
A Mourning Sister Digs Deep Into Her Introverted Brother’s Life…
Kate leaves no stone unturned when it comes to finding out what happened in the last days of Jason’s life. He’d been clean and sober for several years, so the news that he’d apparently overdosed on prescription drugs and alcohol as a suicide had been a shock to both Kate and her step-father. As she talks to Jason’s former employer and the police chief to gain information, she certainly doesn’t make the best impression. While other residents in town welcome her with open arms, like the local Amish community and the local owner of the Bed and Breakfast where Jason had rented a cottage while he lived in Laurel Ridge, Kate finds herself on the nasty end of several attacks from an unknown assailant when she starts to push too hard for the truth.
A Police Chief Who Starts To Question the Official Story…
Police Chief Mac Whiting thought Jason’s suicide was an open and shut case–another victim in the burgeoning drug problem that was creeping up on the young people in their sleepy little town. But once Kate stormed into town and began asking questions and stirring up trouble with local residents, Mac begins to see the sense in Kate’s theories–especially by watching Jason’s video journals from his time in Laurel Ridge. Could someone have driven Jason to suicide or murdered him and made it look like an accidental overdose? He definitely thinks this is a possibility when the head strong, stubborn sister attracts danger wherever she goes.
Kate and Mac – Bonded by Guilt…
Kate and Mac were such well-formed, realistic characters, and they were definitely driven by guilt. Kate thought that she’d let her little brother down by not being there for him when he’d needed her–she was all that he’d had for so long since his cop father was a tough nut to crack. Now she’s trying to make up for it by bringing his killer to justice. Mac is a veteran whose two tours of duty have left him with plenty of nightmares, especially with the crushing guilt of the family that he couldn’t save in the Middle East. He protects his townspeople now with a gentle fierceness that makes him a force to be reckoned with, yet it makes him a bit inaccessible to finding love outside of his close-knit family. Kate doesn’t trust anyone easily–especially not cops–so the relationship between Mac and her builds very slowly, and definitely takes a one step forward, two steps back approach.
I give How Secrets Die a four out of five. This book is the third in the series, and having not read the first two, I had no problems picking this one up and jumping right in. The small town setting with Amish community nuances was quaint, realistic, and vivid. This is a romantic suspense, and the pacing was perfect–not too slow and not too frenetic. Kate and Mac’s relationship was very clean since there would be a pending legal case, which was a nice change of pace. I really enjoyed the setting, the secondary characters, the small town feel, the unpredictable mystery with several twists and turns, and I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more novels by Marta Perry in the future.
About Marta Perry
Marta Perry realized she wanted to be a writer at age eight, when she read her first Nancy Drew novel. Most girls reached the end of that book wanting to be Nancy. Marta wanted to be the person who created the story.
The dream lay hidden for years while she pursued other career goals, but eventually it re-surfaced, and she began to write, beginning with short children’s stories for Sunday school take-home papers. After seeing hundreds of her short stories published in a variety of magazines, Marta finally started work on the novel she’d always wanted to write. Fifty-some published novels later, she still feels the same excitement when she begins a new book.
A lifetime spent in rural Pennsylvania and her own Pennsylvania Dutch roots led Marta to the books she writes now about the Amish. The Pleasant Valley Amish series from Berkley Books are longer, more complex emotional stories with Amish main characters, while the Amish Suspense series from HQN Books are more adventure-filled books set in Pennsylvania Amish country. She also continues to write for Love Inspired Books.
Marta lives with her husband in a century-old farmhouse in the Pennsylvania countryside, but spends winters at their vacation home in South Carolina. When she’s not writing, she’s active in the life of her church and enjoys traveling and spending time with her three children and six beautiful grandchildren.
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A clean read, that you don’t have to read the previous books in the series to appreciate, with a lovely small town feel – how could a reader go wrong with this one?!
Thanks for being a part of the tour.