One Scream Away, by Kate Brady
Publisher: Forever (Hachette Book Group)
Kate Brady has won or been a finalist in many writing contests, including the Golden Heart from the Romance Writers of America, the Maggies, and the Suzannah. One Scream Away is her debut novel.
After a previous case goes horribly wrong, Neil Sheridan leaves the FBI behind and embarks on a quest to drown out his sorrows in alcohol and woman whose names he can’t even recall. Now working for a private security organization, the scars from his past emerge when an old colleague and friend knocks on his door about a case which is eerily similar to a disturbing one from his past. Across the country, one by one, women are brutally murdered in comparable means to resemble antique dolls. The connection- Beth Denison- a single mother who is receiving calls from the killer and at one time has researched the dolls. A beautiful woman with a secret she’ll do anything to keep. After Beth surrenders to Neil, both in his embrace and in his protection, Neil discovers that seven years ago Beth was attacked by the killer named Chevy Bankes. Beth created a new life for herself, far removed from the tragedy of that night. But now Bankes is out of prison and after her, killing women in prelude to his real desire- her. It may just be too late for her and her daughter when the truth comes out. Neil knows Beth isn’t telling him everything, like why Bankes really wants her screaming, or why she’ll consider the unthinkable- facing Bankes alone.
The only real fault I have with the book was the secret Beth was keeping. I figured it out very early on. Then again, the author may have written it or wanted it this way. I didn’t feel it ruined the story either.
I think, in a story like this, where there is so much trauma from the past, Kate Brady did a remarkable job of understanding her characters and reactions from them. This wasn’t just a romantic suspense, but a delve into the psyche of human nature and how we rebound from heartbreak and previous experience. This may be a bit too deep of a statement for a fiction book, but from a writers perspective, it made the plot flow well and engages the reader without them understanding why. I felt it was worth mention because a great author does this well. This book is well worth the read for the characters alone, both antagonist and protagonist, you walk away, or close the book, without questions and with truly feeling what made them tick. I was particularly pleased with the ending. Without having to put up a spoiler alert, this wasn’t a quick, wham-bam-thank-you, Mam finish. The suspense slowly built until the last page. As previously stated, the plot flowed well, was well spaced, and there weren’t any areas where I lost interest.
One Scream Away, by Kate Brady, is one heck of a break-out book from a talented emerging author.
Author and Reviewer