Love You to Death, by Shannon K. Butcher
Publisher: Forever (Hachette Book Group)
After spending too many years as an Industrial Engineer, Author Shannon K. Butcher learned to write from her husband, best-selling author Jim Butcher. Other titles include: No Control, No Regrets, and No Escape, (for which she won an award). She resides in Missouri with her husband and son.
Free-lance reporter, Elise McBride, hasn’t heard from her sister, Ashley, in more than a week. The artist side of Ashley often has her flighty and distracted in her own paintings, but this time, Elise knew something was wrong. Convinced that Ashley has met with foul play, Elise breaks into her sister’s house to try to find some information or leads, since the police seem to think Ashley just ran off. Instead, she finds Trent Brady, an ex-cop still trying to wash the blood off his hands from before he resigned. The last thing he wants or needs is to become involved in a missing persons case, or become romantically involved with said person’s sister. But Elise needs his help, and he’s determined to keep her out of trouble until the police find Ashley. Except now, the bodies of other missing women are surfacing bearing an uncanny resemblance to Ashley, and it would appear that Elise is the next target of this brutal serial killer.
Two things stand out to me after reading this book. One: it was extremely well-paced, having a perfect blend of romance, suspense, and humor where appropriate. And two: the heroine, Elise, was not your typical hard-ass, strong as nails lead character you’d typically find in romantic suspense. She was strong and determined, but her insecurities and flaws were crafted nicely, making her enormously relatable. I found the other lead hero, Trent, very realistic in his flaws as well. Readers will appreciate being inside the killer’s head, as well as Ashley’s while she was in captivity. Mostly, you’ll never leave your doors unlocked again. The murders, the investigation, and fear the author illustrates will remain with you long after the pages are closed- a true testament to stellar writing. The setting was appropriate and the secondary characters moved the plot well. There wasn’t a dead spot to find in the entire book. Shannon is most definitely an author to keep your eye out for.
Author and Reviewer