I’m Watching You by Karen Rose (Chicago #2)

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My Rating: 3/5

One thing that tends to irritate me is people that read a book and then complain about the content, it’s either too romantic, or doesn’t have enough. Karen Rose writes romantic suspense, the giveaway is in the description! Having read most of Karen’s books, there are still a couple I haven’t got around to reading and this was one of them.

It doesn’t take long to get down to the nitty gritty of the crux of the story. We are introduced to Kristen Mayhew who has a chance meeting with Abe Reagan in a car park and discovers a gruesome find in the boot of her car. It becomes apparent pretty early on that this killer is intent of proving himself and Kristen is right in the middle of it.

The characters are easy to get to grips with and Kristen, although pretty tightly sprung was quite vulnerable and likeable early on. Abe Reagan was another matter, but after another few chapters I began to understand his background and warmed to him too.

The story was quite gripping and we see the killers’ perspective as he plots his next murder. However, having read most of her newer stuff, coming back to her second published book there was a marked difference. Karen Rose most definitely has some serious talent. However, I realised at the halfway point that my interest was leaning more towards the romantic side of the book; certainly not what I am used to when reading this sort of thing. I think that on reflection, in the early days the balance wasn’t quite there and in more recent books the balance is just right.

Having said all of that the book was definitely a page turner and kept me reading until the very end. I liked the fact that were a few plot twists and to be perfectly honest I thought the romantic side was brilliant (just not everybody’s cup of tea). The additional characters such as Mia (Abe’s partner) and the Reagan family added some much needed interest to the story as we see the interactions with everybody change. I especially liked the progression of Mia and Abe as partners and thought she was a great supporting character. This certainly wasn’t Karen Rose’s best work, but is definitely still a page turner and an enjoyable read. 

Don’t Tell by Karen Rose (Chicago #1)

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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.