One of the reasons I really enjoy romantic suspense is that you get a thriller plot but with characters who are often better developed than they are in straight thrillers. There’s no lack of action, but these stories are character-driven, which is just how I like my books.
In Shiloh Walker’s latest, If You See Her, Hope Carson has survived an abusive husband and a stint in a mental hospital where he put her. Now she’s trying to rebuild her life, but there are too many things in her way, not the least of which are lingering fear and the fact that the one place she feels safe has a serial killer running loose. Still, she’s determined to soldier on and you can’t help but root for her.
Her earlier excitement had faded and in the pit of her belly there was a cold, hard lump. But she wasn’t going to let that keep her from this afternoon,
She wasn’t going to let it freeze her, wasn’t going to let it control her.
And even though all she wanted to do was run, she wasn’t going to let it chase her away, either.
Hope stood in the middle of the empty apartment and stared all around. Chewing nervously on her lower lip, she glanced over at the realtor and then back at the apartment. “It seems kind of…well, big for one person,” she said quietly.
“Wait until you start trying to fit furniture in.” Remy came up behind her and slid an arm over and around her upper body, easing her back agaisnt him. He pressed a kiss to her temple. “Trust me, it just looks this big because it’s empty.”
Relaxing against him, she tried to picture some furniture in the place and thought that maybe he was right. Maybe. A couch along that wall. A TV. She gulped and muttered, “Furniture. Hadn’t even thought about that part.”
The realtor beamed at her. “It’s always so exciting, though, getting a new place.”
Hope felt kind of nauseated. Exciting…getting a place of her own. A real place. Not crashing at a shelter or one of those damn long-term hotel type laces, or sleeping in her car, renting a room over a garage. And not living with Law, or Joey…her own place.
No, exciting wasn’t the word she’d use. Terrifying.
If You See Her is part of a trilogy, more closely linked than most trilogies. In fact, the same killer haunts all three, so don’t expect all to be solved at the end of this book. It’s also better if you read the first book—If You Hear Her—first. But it’s not absolutely necessary, since the characters who drive it forward (and even a thriller subplot) stand on their own.
Laura K. Curtis lives in Westchester, NY, with her husband and 3 dogs who’ve taught her how easily love can co-exist with the desire to kill. She blogs at Women of Mystery and maintains an online store at TorchSongs GlassWorks. She can also be found on Twitter and poking her nose into all sorts of trouble in various spots around the web.