Monday 25 June 2012

Book ~ "In Close" (2011) Brenda Novak

From Goodreads ~ Claire O'Toole's mother, Alana, went missing fifteen years ago. That was big news in Pineview, Montana, the kind of town where nothing much ever happens. Then, last year, Claire's husband, David, died in a freak accident — after launching his own investigation into Alana's disappearance.

Is Alana dead? Or did she simply abandon her husband and daughters? Claire's determined to find out — and her former boyfriend, Isaac Morgan, wants to help. Although their relationship didn't end well, he still has feelings for her. And yet it isn't until he starts to suspect David's death wasn't an accident that he's drawn back into her life.
Together, Claire and Isaac search for answers to the questions that have haunted Pineview all this time. But as they soon discover, someone's prepared to kill so those answers won't be found.

This book had two elements ... a romance and a mystery.

Claire's husband, David, who had been her high school sweetheart, died a year ago in a hunting accident and Claire is still in mourning. Isaac comes back into Claire's life after someone breaks into her house. They dated when Claire and David were on a six month break ten years ago. Back then Isaac had a reputation as a bad boy and broke it off with Claire when she told him she wanted more from him than he could give at the time. Claire got back together with David and had a nice life. But Claire and Isaac never got over each other. The heat is still there but there are misunderstandings. Claire assumes that Isaac is still a bad boy and can't commit and Isaac assumes that Claire will never love anyone but David. So rather than sitting down and talking about it, they each make assumptions about the other. I'm not a fan of this kind of thing but I guess it's needed to add tension.

I liked Isaac's character. I found Claire was a bit weak in the in the beginning she was so concerned about what others thought and put them before herself. I was happy when she started getting stronger, especially with her nasty sister, Leanne. Though I had a hard time believing that they could pick up where they left off ten years ago so quickly and that Claire could flip her emotions that quickly from David to Isaac, I was okay with them as a couple.

I enjoyed the mystery part. Did Alana run away or was she killed? If she was killed, who did it? Was it Claire's stepfather, Tug, who married Roni just six months after Alana left and raised Claire and Leanne after Alana disappeared? Or was it Roni because she wanted Tug and Alana was in the way? Or was it Joe, who was supposed to be having an affair with Alana? Did David really get killed in a hunting accident or was he murdered because he was digging into Alana's disappearance? It all comes together and I was okay with how it ended.

I enjoyed the writing style. I found it a fairly easy read and will be looking for others by this author.

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