by Karen Rose
Series: Romantic Suspense #16, Cincinnati #1
Genres: Romantic Suspense
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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