Romantic Suspense

Dead Heat by Lisa Clark O’Neill @LisaClarkONeill

the setup…

Charlotte Parks is an interior designer in partnership with her twin brother’s boyfriend in Atlanta. When her beloved dog Banjo disappeared, she begins developing a level of anxiety foreign to her and decides to retreat to their family home in Rabun County, Georgia. As soon as she gets to town, she’s pulled over by Sheriff Ethan McCloud, a man with whom she’s got history and not all good. But this encounter turned out to be a nice surprise for a change. However, as she settles into her cottage, things begin to happen that cause her to question her sanity…items inexplicably showing up, others missing and loss of memory where recall should be.

the heart of the story…

Charlotte’s the kind of woman who is polar opposite of insecure and self doubting. She’s gorgeous, wealthy, talented and highly self confident…until recently. While she’s all those things, her life hasn’t lacked trauma and heartbreak. When things start to happen that stir up old, haunting memories, Charlotte begins to question her sanity. I loved when she reached that, “Wait a minute!” moment and shifted to questioning who was up to something shady. Meanwhile, Ethan had the same reaction to their first encounter and both tentatively begin to explore those possibilities. I liked how their relationship crept along with a lot of witty exchanges full of double entendres. They come from completely opposite backgrounds but had similar natures and strong personalities. It was a wonderful push/pull that worked.

the heart of the story…

I’m not a big fan of gaslighting type stories unless they’re done well as this one was. It’s smart, clever and at times had me wondering if Charlotte had some issues. But after I transitioned along with her into the who and why, I was so hooked and needed to see this mystery out. I loved the romantic angle as Charlotte and Ethan were so well suited even if they didn’t look like they should be based on their résumés. They were good for each other and brought the best out in one another. The mystery climax was exciting, even though I’d solved part of it. I have enjoyed this series and hope it hasn’t ended because this left some things open ended, despite a very satisfying (and tear-jerking) climax.

Book Info

  • Release Date: March 23, 2022
  • Series: Rabun County #3
  • Page Numbers: 328
  • Publisher: Self


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15 thoughts on “Dead Heat by Lisa Clark O’Neill @LisaClarkONeill”

  1. The romance angle is a unique in this type of story and it sounds like it really added to the tale. I love these kind of thrillers that make me question my own perceptions. Excellent review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Tessa💜 One of the many things I like about O’Neill’s writing involves the complexity of her characters. They’re not perfect but all have at least one quality that makes them highly interesting and likable. Her mysteries aren’t any slouch either.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have not heard of this author before, but she sounds like one I would enjoy. A mix of romance, thriller and mystery sounds very intriguing. Is this a series you need to read in order, or can they be read as standalone stories, Jo?

    Liked by 1 person

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