Killer Heat, by Brenda Novak
Publisher: Mira Books (Harlequin)
It was a horrible experience that jump-started New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Brenda Novak's career-- she caught her daycare teacher drugging her children to get them to sleep. Deciding she needed to work from home, she penned her first novel, and has been a household sensation ever since. Other titles include: Trust Me, Watch Me, Stop Me, Dead Silence, Dead Giveaway, Dead Right, The Perfect Couple, The Perfect Murder, The Perfect Liar, and Mother, Please. She also heads an annual fundraiser for diabetes research every May. Brenda resides in Sacramento, California with her husband and five children.
This is the third book in the Department 6 trilogy, and the last, with White Heat and Body Heat coming before it. Department 6 is a private security operation that takes on personal cases as well as aids in police cases when needed.
In Skull Valley, Arizona, seven bodies have been uncovered in a gorge. Department 6 has been called in to help the small local law enforcement in Yavapai county solve the murders. Jonah Young is not looking forward to this case, especially when it turns out private investigator Francesca Moretti was hired to find one of the women who was killed. Francesca and Jonah share a past, an ugly past she cannot get over. Jonah betrayed her in the worst possible way and she can't trust him again. It would mean losing her heart all over again, and could mean these families will never get justice. Forced to work together, Francesca and Jonah quickly zero in on a suspect, but too many questions remain unanswered. Nothing about this case makes sense. As if those troubles weren't a long enough list, the local sheriff is only complicating the case. When another tie to the murders arises, they are left with reservations and uncertainty. Now it seems as if Francesca is the next target. If they bet on the wrong man, the consequences could mean her life.
There are not nearly enough positive adjectives I can throw at Brenda Novak's writing to give it justice. She is a true original in the popular romantic suspense market. Her plots and characters stand alone. She allows you to be inside the secondary characters heads as often as the hero and heroine's, making for a bone-chilling read. Sometimes you know who it is, sometimes you don't. Readers will be shocked by the outcome of this read, if my response was any indication. Though the first two books in this series were great, this last book tops them both. Now here is a romance with conflict. The seclusion of the desert where she sets this series only adds to the creepiness. Most notably, the "Dear Reader" letter at the book's opening was interesting.
Author and Reviewer