Please welcome Sophia Rose to the blog with the latest Bree Taggert romantic suspense novel. Get comfy and see why Dead Against Her by Melinda Leigh had some nail-biting moments. Fans of police procedural novels and murder mysteries will enjoy this one!
by Melinda Leigh
Series: Bree Taggert #5
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Sheriff Bree Taggert’s downfall is part of a killer’s cunning design in #1 Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Melinda Leigh’s novel of murder, lies, and revenge.
Called to an isolated farm to check on an elderly widow, Sheriff Bree Taggert finds a brutal double homicide. One of the victims is Eugene Oscar, the bitter and corrupt former deputy she recently forced out of the department.
Working with criminal investigator Matt Flynn, Bree discovers that she isn’t the only one who had a troubling history with Eugene. But someone doesn’t want Bree digging up the past. She becomes the target of a stranger’s sick and devious campaign calculated to destroy her reputation, career, family, and new relationship with Matt. To make matters worse, she’s the prime suspect in Eugene’s murder.
When her chief deputy goes missing while investigating the case, Bree refuses to back down. She won’t let him become the next victim. His life and her future depend on finding a killer nursing a vengeful rage.
Sophia Rose’s Review
When a killer makes it deeply personal and Bree’s rep and livelihood on the line, she has to step up and close out the case with the odds against her. The Bree Taggart series constantly raises the bar of expectation and never fails to bring home a stellar read. Dead Against Her is no exception.
As the fifth book in the Bree Taggart suspense series, Dead Against Her works best read in order because of ongoing personal and relationship threads.
Bree responds to a well-being check call and finds the old woman and her son have been killed in cold blood. Her feelings are mixed when the son turns out to be former Deputy Oscar, whom she had to fire for repeated misconduct and ineptitude on the job.
Someone makes it personal by going after Bree with fake video porn and set-ups to discredit her character, forcing her out of her sheriff’s job and endangering her family. Solving the murder is more complicated when the trail leads to a dangerous secret group and so many suspects and motives. Bree, Matt, and her loyal deputies have to dig deep. Meanwhile, her chief deputy and Matt’s sister seem to have something going on and Bree is learning to take help, including with raising her niece and nephew on their family farm.
In all these books, Bree is up against a lot from her own tortured past needing to be dealt with, to being a woman attempting to prove herself in a tough mostly male job, powerful people who have their own agenda for her department, and all the way to some tricky cases. Dead Against Her digs deep and pushes her hard with all that, plus the insidious attack on her reputation.
I loved seeing her work through it all and getting past her vulnerable and raw feelings, looking to Matt as a trustworthy man in her personal life and on the job. Matt is also settled in what he wants with Bree and her family and what he can do now that he’s contracted as an investigator and working with his retired K-9 companion, Brody.
I figured out the killer early, but that took nothing from the suspense because there was a lot more going on than just fingering the person and they did it by the book with their investigation and following the evidence trail. There were actually a few mysteries that may or may not have anything to do with the murder, and I liked that extra complication. This one had some nail-biter moments and particularly the last big money scene.
Wrapping it up, I blew through it and was left chagrined to have to wait once again for a new installment. The romance is secondary to the suspense, but the series development and background on the characters is strong. The slow build and confusion at the beginning untangles and picks up the pace to a rush at the end and works great for this type of story. Those who like police procedural murder mysteries with good character development should definitely grab up the beginning of the series.
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My library just uploaded a bunch of audios by Melinda Leigh and I’m so excited. This sounds like the kind of book I’d love. I really want to try the first book in this series.
Woohoo! Glad your library got in several of her books. This series can standalone, but if you love things in order so you get all the little connections, there is the Scarlett Falls trilogy first, then the Morgan Dane series, and then this one with Bree Taggert. No need to do them all, but thought I’d mention the connection.
Love these so much!
Excellent review, Sophia Rose. I love this series but haven’t read #4 yet. I agree with your comments, the romance is good, but secondary.
Oh cool, another fan! I’m so excited for each book in the series and like the particular balance of romance and suspense in these.
This book sounds intense! I’m intrigued.
There are some definite intense moments, Joy. I love how the author builds the suspense.
Carole @ Carole's Random Life
I really need to start reading these books. They sound wonderful!
I concur! I think you’d enjoy them, Carole. 🙂
Nice series. I’m glad you’re enjoying the book and the series.
Most definitely, Wendy! I can’t wait for each new one.
Anne - Books of My Heart
I have truly loved every book in this series. I enjoyed this one too.
Same here! I’m on my third series and love that her books never make me wonder what I’ll get for satisfactory reading.
I always like her books! I don’t remember if I tried this series or not. I need to take a look
Her books have become an addiction for me. 🙂
For sure! 🙂