I Can See You by Karen Rose (Minneapolis #1)

192x293 (2)

My Rating: 4/5

I am a pretty avid Karen Rose fan I must admit, and I have been slowly working through her older books I have yet to read. Before I started this one I glanced on other Amazon reviews to see what other people thought. One thing that frustrated me was a low rating this book was given due to the `romance’ aspect of it. The one thing I do know about Karen Rose, and something potential readers should know is that her genre is `romantic suspense’. The genre kind of gives it away, but if you only want murder and mystery and no more then maybe this isn’t for you. Myself, I see nothing wrong with a bit of romance and lust thrown in over a serial killer or two; I find it `lightens the load’ so to speak.

This book in particular, like many others of hers, is not a short one. The hardback is a pretty hefty weight and all in all has nearly 500 pages. As usual, it took me no more that one or two chapters to be drawn into the book. Once you have read a few of Karen Rose books you realise that various characters appear in more than one book. Although this is the case each of her books can be read as a stand alone. We meet Eve who is a woman (previously featuring in another book Nothing to Fear) with a past. She is trying to rebuild her life after a terrifying ordeal where she was kidnapped, tortured and left for dead. She works part time in a bar while studying her thesis which involves an online game called Shadowland.

The first thing that struck me about this book is the fact that this was a perfectly believable situation. With the online gaming world taking off it put the fear of God into me while reading it (ridiculous I know)! Pretty soon after meeting Eve we meet Noah Webster who is a copper with his own secrets and past. Along with his temperamental partner Jack we see them dragged into a case which should be a simple suicide. It becomes clear pretty quickly that it isn’t the case and before long they are dealing with a serial killer.

The story is quite long and detailed with numerous suspect possibilities and just when I thought I had it figured out, I realised I was wrong. I was wondering if this book was a bit too long but by the halfway mark I literally couldn’t put it down. Yes there is a predictable element of romance within the book and some pretty hot and steamy scenes towards the end, but to be fair the people involved had a very bad week and I think it was deserved:-)))

As I have read a fair few of her books now, I wouldn’t say this is my favourite but was still a riveting read as usual. Overall, another great book by Karen Rose and one that I would highly recommend.

You Belong to Me by Karen Rose (Baltimore #1)

192x293 (3)

My Rating: 4/5

When I received KR’s latest book I wasn’t surprised to see it was a humdinger of a hardback at 480 pages. This was actually something I relished, a meaty book that I could get my teeth into.

In the past Karen Rose has been criticised for her style of writing with some saying that the romance element shouldn’t be there. I disagree and see nothing wrong in a crime or thriller novel having a splash of love about it.

In this particular book it took me no time at all to get straight into the heart of the story. The opening few chapters throw us into the world of Lucy Trask and the grisly discovery of a body. Lucy does follow a tried and tested type of character, a strong and independent woman with a murky past. I must say though, although it may seem a tires type of character, Karen Rose does it perfectly. Lucy Trask was a great character and a lot of the gripping elements of the story relate to her past and her current hidden secrets. JD Fitzpatrick is also a strong and cleverly written lead character. I wouldn’t be spoiling the plot by saying that the love interest is not hard to work out in this book but it was done subtly.

As ever Karen Rose’ strongest attribute is the crimes themselves. As usual we have a gritty and sometimes disturbing plot with a very high body count and a race against time before more people become victims. The crime scenes themselves are very descriptive and the tension runs pretty high too and I found myself sitting up a little more, and nudging my tush further towards the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen.

The story doesn’t let up pace throughout the whole book and the ending was a pretty good round up too. Overall it took me around three days to finish the book which isn’t surprising with the size of it. However, I didn’t once get tired of reading it and the story remained fresh throughout. I think her stories only get better and she manages to keep it interesting with the characters she creates. Overall, another great book by Karen Rose and one that I would highly recommend.

Scream For Me by Karen Rose (Atlanta #1)

226x346

My Rating: 3/5

 Karen Rose is a RITA award winning novelist who has been writing since her debut book `Don’t Tell’ in 2003. Karen Rose then produced a series of books starting with Die For Me which was released in 2007. The series feature Special Agent Daniel Vartanian. This book is the second in the Series and is entitled `Scream For Me’.

I have only read one other Karen Rose book which was her debut novel and I was thoroughly captured by her writing style and thoroughly enjoyed every page of that book. When I picked up this one I was totally unaware that it was the second in the series but this had absolutely no effect on the enjoyment as previous events are explained in detail. If you wish to read from the beginning of this series I would suggest you don’t read onwards from this point as there may be spoilers relating to the first book.

In this second instalment we again meet Daniel who has recently buried his parents following their brutal killings at the hands of his own brother. Not only does he have that to deal with, but the fact that his brother Simon died at his own hands too. When a new case lands on his desk he is determined to absorb himself in this new case and catch the killer that seems to be replicating murders from 13 years ago. The problem with that is that the murders seem to be linked to a collection of photographs that belonged to his brother.

Alex Fallon is an ER nurse and is getting over the breakup of her relationship with a fellow Doctor. Alex has a murky past with her twin sister having been murdered thirteen years ago. When she finds out that her stepsister Bailey has gone missing she fears the worst. However Bailey has a history of drug abuse but would her own stepsister abandon a small child alone in her house just for her next fix. Alex doesn’t want to take any chances so takes Baileys daughter Hope into her own care and begins her own search for her stepsister.

Alex and Daniel inevitably cross paths when Daniel realises there may be a link between the murders from 13 years ago, the murders that are happening now and the disappearance of Bailey Crighton. Between them they try to make sense of what is happening and why.

The proper description for this type of book genre is romantic suspense. When I reviewed Karen Rose’s previous book I totally disagreed with that label but I have to say it is more fitting to this book. The story itself is far from a bed of roses and is largely based around multiple murders of young women. However all of her books do have a romantic element running through them. I have to say though, that in this case it just became part of the story as opposed to taking over from the central focus of the book. It runs along nicely and is integrated well without becoming too over the top.

You do have to pay attention as there are many characters introduced throughout which all have a part to play somewhere along the line. This author has a knack of switching seamlessly between a horrific murder scene and a scene in which two people are falling for each other despite the circumstances. I loved the element of the story which was written from Bailey Crighton’s point of view as the story is then staggered and the reader is drawn further into the reasoning for a lot of things the further in to the book they get.

Overall I think I preferred her debut novel to this but this was still a solid 3.5 out of 5 stars. She has also introduced Daniel Vartanian’s sister Susannah along with Daniel’s friend Luke Papadopoulos who are to take a much more central role in the follow up to this book. I think Karen Rose is a great author and I look forward to reading the next installment.

Don’t Tell by Karen Rose (Chicago #1)

191x293

My Rating: 4/5

I had never read any Karen Rose novels but a friend of mine mentioned I might like her books.

When it comes to genre I am a little bewildered. The front of the book as well as the jacket information gives the impression that her books are thrillers. Yet her website seems to suggest that she writes `Romantic Suspense’ books. After finishing her book I am not sure I would quite call her genre this but can see that she does have a romantic element running through the story.

Having said that this book is far from Chick Lit and the happy and bubbly lives the characters seem to lead. This book is real in all its glory. It’s almost real to the point that some people could empathise with the character. This story is based largely on a woman’s survival following years of domestic abuse.

Caroline Stewart has created a new life for her and her son and is trying to do the best she can to move on. 9 years after leaving her husband after faking her own death, a new man enters her life and she has all the challenges that a woman in her position is not used to dealing with. The aspect of the book that deals with the nicer side to Caroline’s life is refreshing. The reason I say this is that we also see the fear and absolute terror she is subjected to. Karen Rose has hit the nail on the head in terms of balance.

In my opinion, any author that can create a character like Caroline’s husband has done a first class job. It has been a long time since I have read a book that raises such hatred in me towards a certain character. Make no mistake, after reading this around a third of the way through, I was already hoping that the husband would wind up dead and in a long and painful manner.

The book takes us through Caroline and her son Tom’s life after their awful experiences with Rob, Caroline’s husband. Not only that, with the introduction of Max, Caroline’s new boss, we see how her son Tom reacts to the presence of a new man around the place. When Caroline’s car is found in a lake her husband realises that the chances of Caroline being alive have been upped. He is furious that he `stole’ their son away and is determined to find them.

The author picks up the pace considerably with Rob trying to trace Caroline and there are various scenes where he is seen for what he really is, a psychopath with a taste for murder. This book isn’t all roses but is a gritty and real thriller that I literally couldn’t put down. The author manages to create a fast paced book with the element of `real life’ added to the mix. I thoroughly enjoyed it and have already got my next Karen Rose novel ready to read.