Watch Your Back by Karen Rose (Baltimore #4)

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My Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:UNFORGETTABLE

Stevie Mazzetti knew she would never get over the murder of her husband and son. But with their killer behind bars, she was able to move on with her life, if only for her daughter’s sake.

UNIMAGINABLE

Now, eight years later, the Baltimore detective always fights for the victims she meets and when she learns that her ex-partner may have miscarried justice, Stevie’s determined to right the wrong, even if it means she is in danger.

UNDENIABLE

Clay Maynard has always wanted Stevie and when she is targeted by a vicious psychopath, he believes that protecting her may give him the chance to have her in his life forever. Clay will do anything to keep Stevie safe but with a killer on her tail who has everything to lose and a secret to hide, will they stay alive long enough to find happiness?

My Review: For me this book was a perfect wrap-up of all the events that have taken place in past books. But the first thing I feel like I need to point out is that you should probably read previous books first. If you haven’t the sheer amount of plot lines going on and the reasoning behind them may take longer to grasp. I also need to say that if you are planning on reading previous books please don’t continue reading this review as it will inevitably have spoilers. Having read nearly all of Karen Rose’ books I was itching to get this latest one and as soon as it was ready to go on my Kindle I eagerly started.

Stevie Mazzetti is a ballsy woman, however she is also a woman that has spent 8 years grieving the loss of her husband and son. With the killer behind bars she has a path to follow and is desperate to rectify some things. Her ex-partner turned out to be a dirty cop and as Stevie starts to dig cases up, it seems her life as well as her daughters are now in danger. The danger levels are pretty high up from early in the book and to be fair don’t drop until the very end making for a fast-paced and pretty tense read.

The additional characters that are involved in this story could take a while to detail, but the main player being Clay Maynard the PI who wants to protect Stevie and her kid. Clay is a great lead character and although he is the main lead in this story we see the return of many other characters from previous books. One of the things I love about the Karen Rose books is that the characters are not forgotten. They may appear frequently or just the once but you get to see glimpses of people from previous stories and how they link to the current characters. Some people may wonder how they can even work out who belongs where, but check out Karen Rose Website as there is a place there that explains the relationship between people and books (which is a bloody great idea if you ask me). Check it out as http://www.karenrosebooks.com/krose-relationships.php.

Back to the story, there is a lot going on and that is by no means an understatement. There are numerous plot threads and just when you think that things are coming to a close, something else pops up. I have to say that at nearly 600 pages this is a humdinger of a book, even by KR standards. Even so, once again Karen Rose has produced a first class thriller that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat. I for one will be eagerly awaiting the next book, as it seems Karen Rose is hitting the jackpot with each and every book.

Did You Miss Me by Karen Rose (Baltimore #3)

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My Rating 5/5

I have read nearly all of Karen’s books and rarely read one that I don’t love. When her newest book landed on my doorstep a few days ahead of publication (thanks to the Publishers) I was excited as I ripped open the package. However, my excitement was replaced with shock as even by Karen Rose standards this book was a humdinger at 544 pages. With the synopsis read in seconds I poured myself a brew and immediately got stuck in.

For this that maybe haven’t read any Karen Rose books this book, along with any other can be picked up and read in any order as a stand alone book. For those that have previously read Karen’s books, you will see familiar faces from previous books. IN Karen’s last book PI Paige Holden is the main character along with State Attorney Grayson Smith. Both Paige and Grayson return in this book but as the background characters to both State Attorney Daphne Montgomery and FBI Agent Joseph Carter.

What I loved about starting this book was not only being introduced to Daphne and Joseph, but seeing what other characters were up to in their lives. Daphne’s son Ford Elkhart is actually the main focus of this book and he is kidnapped and only recalls what happened when he wakes up on a cold dark floor and realises he is tied up and being held. The book takes an immediate dive into the kidnapping and we see many chapters start to form threads. I was totally and utterly engrossed and found myself being drawn back to the book every time I attempted to put it down.

There are numerous threads and people to keep track of and at the halfway mark I had to take a breather as I realised I needed to get it all straight in my head?!? I had block read at least 250 pages and felt like I had overdosed on crime! Luckily a good nights’ sleep sorted that out and the next day I resumed reading the rollercoaster ride of a book! The characters Daphne and Joseph each have their own demons and skeletons and as the story progresses we see the layers of their pasts slowly peeled back. I liked the suspense you are kept in, even though I am the most impatient person. As usual the actual crime scenes are written vividly leaving a somewhat sour taste in my mouth at times, but by no means put me off!

Joseph and Daphne are both characters I really liked but the two that really pulled at me were Clay and Stevie. They were only in the book for small periods of time but I SO want to find out what happens there (I just know I’m going to have to wait on that front!). The plot itself had plenty of twists and turns and kept me guessing until the very end of the book. The one thing that stood out this time round was the sex! Yep, that’s right people I did say sex! Karen Rose is a great crime writer, but her genre (if people care to check) is romantic suspense. It irritates me when people grumble about this in her books because it’s what she does, and believe me when I say it’s what she does best. Karen Rose surprised me this time round and at times I wondered if I had inadvertently picked up a Jackie Collins (not a bad thing in my book!).

All in all, this book, although long even by her standards, was an absolute cracker. Karen Rose is first class at these sorts of books and this one didn’t disappoint. As usual, you are in for a bumpy ride which will have you reading from morning until night. Highly recommended.

No One Left To Tell by Karen Rose (Baltimore #2)

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My Rating: 5/5

One thing I want to make clear is that this book along with all of Karen Rose books falls under the genre of Romantic Suspense. Now I am a fan of both romance and crime so the mix of the two doesn’t bother me at all. For those that want zero romance, you may want to look elsewhere. For those that, like me, quite like that element of the book then get yourselves out and get a copy of her latest release.

No One Left To Tell starts as it means to go on when we see Paige Holden make her way to a pro bono clients house. The story starts with a bang as Paige witnesses Elena Munoz gunned down and while Paige is trying to save her, Elena whispers in her ear and sets off the chain reaction that will turn her life upside down.

Paige as a character is very easy to like, a lady that has her own past and is trying to make a fresh start in a new city. When Elena Munoz dies, Paige is determined to get to the bottom of the secrets she was holding. We also meet Grayson Smith, who also has his own secrets but has made a success of himself as an attorney.

Paige meets Grayson and together they try to piece together the evidence they have and set about finding the killer for numerous murders. This book, even by Karen Rose standards was quite a long one but this one seemed more intricate in detail. The storyline keeps expanding with new possibilities and leads at every corner.

At just over the halfway mark I couldn’t put it down, and although it got more and more complicated and dangerous I just had to keep reading. The list of crimes that they uncover, seem get longer by the hour with murder, corruption and suicides to name a few.

As usual we also get to meet a whole host of other characters such as Grayson’s family along with some familiar faces. One of the things I love about Karen Rose books is that I have read them all so the feature of some characters is an added bonus for me. We get to see Detective Stevie Mazzetti, Investigator Clay Maynard and Dr Lucy Trask who all feature in other books.

The pace is kept up from start to finish and although the book is lengthy it kept my interest from the first page to the very last. This book is a fine example of Karen Rose’s brilliant writing. Once again, I will have to wait impatiently for the next instalment.

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

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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.