Closer Than You Think by Karen Rose

December 15th, 2016 Kimberly Review 40 Comments

15th Dec
Closer Than You Think by Karen Rose
Closer Than You Think
by Karen Rose
Series: Romantic Suspense #16, Cincinnati #1
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Heat Level: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

Psychologist Faith Corcoran is desperate to escape the stalker who’s made her life a nightmare for the past year—desperate enough to run to the one place that has been her nightmare far longer. Both boon and bane, her recent inheritance of her grandmother’s old house in Cincinnati offers sanctuary in which she can start her life anew, but requires that she face the dark memories that still resonate to this day.

But she has no idea how close to home her fears still are.

Two college girls have gone missing in the area, and FBI Special Agent Deacon Novak is called to work on the case. When his inquiry unexpectedly leads him to Faith, he finds a beautiful and brave woman he can’t help but fall for. Soon they’ll discover that this seemingly simple investigation is anything but. Reaching back decades into Faith’s own past, it will shatter everything she believes to be true and will give terrifying new meaning to flesh and blood.


Closer Than You Think by Karen Rose is the first book in the Cincinnati series and book sixteen in her Romantic Suspense series. Each of the book offers an intense FBI crime thriller, with a side dish of romance. Rose delivered a nail-biting serial killer mystery that kept me turning the pages.

I enjoy romantic suspense, thrillers, mysteries and books featuring serial killers. Twisted right? Each month Penguin sends me a list of books available for review. One those titles was an FBI thriller by Karen Rose that immediately caught my attention. I clicked on the Goodreads link and discovered it was book eighteen in the Romantic Suspense series. If your TBR pile is anything like mine, that number will have you cringing in fear. But still, I read the synopsis, then clicked on the series link hoping the books worked as standalone. This was when I discovered it was also the third book in the Cincinnati series. Now book three I could do. So I took a chance and emailed Penguin, who gladly sent me books one and two. I am so glad I reached out because Closer Than You Think delivered. It has all the elements I love in a good thriller.

The story begins when we meet Psychologist Faith Corcoran. Faith is on the run from a serial stalker. One who has made numerous attempts on her life. Faith inherits her grandmother’s old homestead, and the timing couldn’t be better. She changes her name, sells her car and leaves her old life behind. She Relocates to Cincinnati taking a position outside of her profession in hopes to begin anew. But TROUBLE is following her, and she is in more danger than she knows. When she almost hits a naked woman in route to her grandmother’s house, it is just the beginning of her nightmare.

FBI Special Agent Deacon Novak is called in when the girl is identified as one of two missing college students.  As Faith sits in the ambulance having her wounds checked from the car accident she thinks she is hallucinating when Novak comes into view. Clad in a leather jacket and wraparound glasses this white haired hulking man moves towards her like something out of a movie.  When he pulls off his glasses, she is mesmerized by his strange eyes. Their first interaction was intense and I liked the undercurrent and awkwardness. Novak knows she is hiding something and Faith is leery of law enforcement, but the two soon find themselves working together because someone desperately wants Faith dead.

Faith proved to be a competent, complex heroine and I admired her guts and level-headedness. She faced some serious scrutiny and handled things with surprising fearlessness. I admired Agent Novak and appreciated his uniqueness. Novak and his siblings share a rare genetic disorder and Rose brought attention to this disease. The romance that develops between them was intense, and despite how quickly it progressed physically and emotionally the author made it feel realistic.

The story is presented using different perspectives from Novak, Faith, the serial killer and a current victim. These were clearly defined and done in such a way that it pulls the reader in, amps up the suspense and allows them to feel like an engaged participant. The novels length of six hundred and eighty-eight pages allowed Rose to develop the storyline entirely. I found no lulls or unnecessary meandering as events unfolded. Each thread was sound and pulled me further into the story creating an authentic feel to the case and characters.

The thriller/mystery aspect was complex and intense. Firs,t we have the young naked woman, who leads us to the discovery of bodies and a serial killer.  Then we have Faith who’s linked to those bodies and has someone attempting to kill her. Rose presented a well-developed mystery with a complex cast of suspects. Secondary characters from other FBI agents to Deacon’s family brought additional threads and ramped up the suspense.

Closer Than You Think delivered all the elements needed for a page-turning thriller. The story delighted me with its dash of romance and realistic developments. The Cincinnati trilogy contained within the Romantic Suspense series has two books available; Closer Than You Think and Alone in the Dark.  The final book Every Dark Corner releases in February 2017. All of the books feature detectives associated with Agent Novak.

Closer Than You Think by Karen Rose was an addictive and intense thriller w/ a dash of romance Click To Tweet
Photo of kimbacaffeinate
About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

40 Responses to “Closer Than You Think by Karen Rose”

  1. Bookworm Brandee

    You had me at serial killer! *haha* This actually sounds like a really good read though. I love the sound of Faith – my kind of heroine. And I just don’t get enough thrillers in my reading diet. I admit to being worried about this being #16 – but you’re right…#3 I can handle. I’ll see if my library carries Rose. 🙂

  2. ShootingStarsMag

    I have this one on my wish list. I live near Cincinnati so I’m really excited about the location. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed this one! I like books about serial killers too. haha

  3. Braine

    Glad the new discovery paid off. I love serial killer themed stories too, it’s morbidly fascinating.

  4. Katherine

    Book 18 definitely makes me a little nervous but this sounds like a romantic suspense series I can work with! Love the sound of Faith and Novak and the whole premise. There was a Nora Roberts book that involved a psychologist and a detective that I just loved and this has some of the elements in that one. I’ll definitely have to pick this book up!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Honestly, I would have moved on, but she writes like Heather Graham where there are series within series. You can start with this one, and meet all new characters.

  5. Kathryn

    So delighted to know you loved it, I just finished listening to it and 23 hours in 8 days is really, really good for me. Narrator wasn’t that great but not awful either. I had started with Every Dark Corner from the publisher, and they also sent me Alone in the Dark. As I had Every Dark Corner I read that first and knew I had to go back to the first. I hope every EDC will have more after it because there are other characters who need a story, e.g Stone and Dani and Adam for starters!! Kate Coppola heroine in Every Dark Corner is fantastic, she is Deacon’s friend and I loved her.

  6. Rowena

    I’ve been hearing loads of good things about this author (about this book too) for years and for some reason, I still haven’t tried any of her stuff. I think I’ll start here though. Great review and thanks for sharing!

  7. Angela Adams

    Sounds like a great read on a cold winter day (like the one we’re experiencing in the Northeast today!). Thanks for the post.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I was so glad to see there were series within series for this. It looks like 3-4 books in one place or with same group of characters. Kind of like Graham’s Krewe of Hunters..only more thriller.

  8. kindlemom1

    Great review for this Kim, I haven’t had a lot of time lately to read but I definitely want to add this one to my list!

  9. Nick

    Sounds fantastic, Kim! I haven’t read a Karen Rose book, but I’ve heard/seen her books around. I enjoy books with serial killers too. They always such an intense dimension to a murder mystery. I’ll have to look into this one.

  10. Quinn's Book Nook

    I read some of Karen Rose’s romantic suspense novels years and years ago and really liked them. They are so dark, though. Glad you liked this one.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This had some dark elements, but I’ve read darker. I will be curious to see how I feel after reading the next two. I couldn’t do a steady diet of this and followed it up with a rom com,

  11. Silvia

    Intriguing! How can you say no to an addictive and intense thriller? And Karen Rose is an author I have on my list, so I should really try to make some space for her books 🙂

  12. Ailyn Koay

    should be more than a dash of romance, people is running away from a serial killer! I hope they catch that psycho soon.

  13. Sophia Rose

    Oh yes, this was my first encounter with the author’s work and I was hooked. I loved this one and book two. I can’t wait to read book three. Deacon was impressive when he walked onto the scene. 🙂