Major Grant Barrett is the consummate soldier, the military being the only life he’s known. He’s deployed in Afghanistan when he’s notified that his brother and sister-in-law, Lee and Kate, were murdered in an apparent robbery while returning home from dinner out. They have a six-year old son, Carson, and a four-month old daughter, Faith, who are now orphans. Grant returns home to Scarlet Falls and enlists the help of next door neighbor Ellie Ross who not only worked with Lee but whose daughter Julia was babysitting for Lee & Kate the night they were killed. They have an immediate attraction to each other but also soon learn they have another connection. Grant doesn’t believe his family’s murder was a simple robbery but a deliberate one. Ellie’s being blackmailed into secretly retrieving a case file from Lee’s home office, with threats to her daughter and grandmother.
The beginning of the story is from Lee’s point of view, right up through his and his wife’s death. It was chilling and expertly done, setting the foundation for what was to come next. It also set my expectations for how dangerous the threat was to not only Ellie and her family but Grant’s niece and nephew. Throughout the story, the motive for the murders was unclear even though there were allusions as to what it might be. I liked that it was foggy with lots of clues, red herrings and real ones, for me to sift through and contemplate. As much as I thought I was prepared for the big reveal, i was still stunned by the outcome.
I liked this story and the promise for the rest of the series. It was great storytelling and the romantic aspect was secondary to the mystery but good, which is my preference. I listened to the book and was pleased overall but didn’t like the voice and manner used for Grant as it was too stereotypical in approach. Otherwise, I liked her pacing and depictions of the other major characters. It’s a strong start to the series and I will continue with the audio versions.
- Release Date: December 9, 2014
- Series: Scarlet Falls #1
- Narrator: Cris Dukeheart
- Audio Length: 10 hours, 13 minutes
- Publisher: Brilliance Audio