76. Closer Than You Think by Karen Rose

When I bought this I thought it was a stand alone book – it isn’t – and what I found more interesting is that Karen Rose has written many series that all slot into place to make a bigger series. This was an introduction to Karen Rose as I hadn’t heard of her before buying this book and it has opened a world to me. I enjoyed this book so much that I plan to buy the others in the series and explore the other series that she has written.

Synopsis (as shown in Amazon Kindle Store) is as follows:

Deacon Novak has returned home. The experienced FBI Agent knows that his move to Cincinnati’s Major Crime Enforcement Squad will be challenging, but the greater challenge will be saving his younger brother before he becomes the kind of criminal Deacon is chasing.

Faith Corcoran has escaped her identity. Being a therapist to victims of sex crimes was rewarding, but her work with their offenders has jeopardized her life. Her move represents a chance to build a new life in the empty old house her grandmother has left her.

What Faith doesn’t know is that a killer has made the house his playground, taking girls into the basement and murdering them. And now Faith is about to disturb his fun.

With a murderer focused on her, Faith is going to have to put her trust in Deacon if she’s going to survive. Because this killer is always closer than she thinks…

Ability to read -I didn’t have any difficulty in reading this. The flow of the language was very smooth and the characters all have distinguishable voices. With so many characters in place I sometimes find it hard to make sense of what is happening but I didn’t get that vibe here. While reading I felt that the characters had been specifically identified to ensure readers could follow without confusion and I felt that each character presented offered a new insight into the main story and were a positive inclusion to the main storyline – instead of being there to bulk up the pages.

Characterisation – Faith was an easy character to like. She was a character with flaws and with strengths and weaknesses and the portrayal of her panic, anxiety and fear came across very realistically and cemented her as a character to stand behind – in my eye at least. All the main characters in this book were presented with such thought and careful planning. I was constantly formulating theories on different characters based on the changes in the story and didn’t twig the correct murderer until the very end. Deacon fit perfectly with Faith and I was in two minds as to their relationship. I was firstly happy that Faith had found someone but then I also found it a little unrealistic because they’d only known each other hours and yet were acting like they’d known each other for months. I can understand that things happen erratically when under stress and fear but that was a part of their coupling that frustrated me.

The details of their romantic nature did throw me for a loop because I was so involved with the crime side of the story that it almost didn’t fit with the story for me.

Karen Rose did a very good job of hiding who the murderer was and of making the reader view each character with suspicion with every turn of the page. I was constantly convinced I knew who the murderer was only to be completely lost the next page as my conviction was proved wrong. There were many characters in this book but I did feel that every one got a moment to shine and that I got a moment to understand the character and see how they fitted in with the others.

I thought Faith was a very strong and resilient character who never stopped trying to help people. Her character was written so well that at times I forgot I was reading a story and thought I was reading a real life account. I was fully behind Faith’s character and while reading I constantly had that feeling of ‘the truth will come out soon’ and then looking and realising I was only 37% through. (That actually happened a lot and whenever I thought that, the percentage of what I had read always proved me wrong!)

Visualisation – I found it very easy to visualise what was happening. The book is split in POVs, both a chapters and in different scenes but there was a clear divide with these changes that stopped any potential confusion. I’ve never been to Cincinnati so have no reference for it but was able to put together a picture of what was going on through the details, the characters actions and the dialogue used. I felt that was I was seeing in my mind was an accurate match to what I was reading.

Uniqueness – It was very intense. I haven’t read a book this intense for a long while. It was the sort of story that gets under your skin and makes you worry that this sort of thing could happen in real life. It took me three days to read this because I didn’t want to get so into it that I started to skim or that I started to get too obsessed with it. I picked this up in the Amazon Kindle Store on a whim because I liked the sound of the synopsis. Since finishing the book, I have researched Karen Rose and discovered the many series that she has written. This book was so captivating that it has made me want to read her other works and it was a jolly good read. Anyone interested in crime/mystery/detectives/psychological thrillers, would love this book!

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