Grace Isabel MacKenna (she goes by Isabel) has graduated from college and spends one last night partying with friends at a karaoke bar before she leaves for Scotland to collect her inheritance. She plans to stop in Boston first to attend a Buchanan family anniversary celebration, her sister Kate’s in-laws. She has an amazing karaoke moment that later becomes viral. But, that’s only eclipsed by what happens after she arrives in Boston and takes what was supposed to be s short walk around her hotel before meeting up with her sister. She loses her way, suddenly in an unfamiliar area with almost no one around and a man stumbling towards her. As they fall to the ground, another man appears and takes a shot at her. Isabel is given the gun held by the wounded man holding onto her and fires back, killing the shooter.
the heart of the story…
It’s been five years since the last book in this series was released so I was pretty excited for this one. The Buchanan clan is a large one (eight siblings) with most somehow connected to law enforcement and their stories were special. The youngest, Michael, is a Navy SEAL, who is ending his naval career and is in town for the celebration. He’s dispatched to help Isabel but they have a rocky history stemming from their last encounter at Kate’s wedding. I liked where I thought this was going to go but from the onset, I was underwhelmed with their characters’ behaviors. There was a lot to like about both of them but together they came across as immature and often just plain insensitive towards each other. The romance was a fail for me. But! The mystery element was extremely interesting, especially when it becomes clear that Isabel is the target and why. The trip to Scotland was also a high point of the story as the descriptions were vividly presented, making me feel as if I was actually there.
This was my first time with the narrator and I really enjoyed her performance, especially her command of Scottish accents. Her tone is warm, distinctions clear and she made this a good listening experience.
the bottom line…
Despite my issues with the romance and its tedium, the mystery and suspense elements were strong enough to make this an enjoyable listening experience. The reasons behind the attempt on Isabel’s life were complicated and took some time to unravel, especially by whom and why. The story really takes off when it transitions to Scotland. The side situation involving her viral karaoke moment added originality and an intriguing layer to the story. I loved reconnecting with all of the Buchanans and getting updates about characters I cared about. I’m glad I chose to listen to the story as it made the experience even better.
- Release Date: July 19, 2022
- Series: Buchanan-Renard #14
- Narrator: Samantha Brentmoor
- Audio Length: 13 hours, 19 minutes
- Publisher: Brilliance Audio
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(Thanks to Brilliance Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)