My Thoughts: Being my first novel by Eason, I was somewhat skeptical and perhaps even a bit lackluster about reading this but I knew my mother enjoyed her writing and when an opportunity arose to review it, I thought it was worth my time. Here is how the story goes. Working with dead bodies is all in a day’s work for Serena Hopkins. She is an ME and isn’t afraid of anything – except maybe her childhood crush, Dominic Allen, or more specifically, the feelings he stirs in her heart. Dom is working on stopping a serial killer who is looking like a copycat murder who was sentenced some twenty years ago, a person who is picking off former classmates of he and his sister’s but how does it all connect to his sister… and Serena?
If I thought I’d be disappointed by this story or prose, how mistaken was I!? This is one of the best suspense novels I’ve read in ages – second only to (perhaps) Dani Pettrey’s debut from earlier this year. ‘Heart’ has style, and oh-so-much more beneath its glossy, pretty cover. In suspense I have found writer’s have a propensity to introduce a dozen or more characters into their story – some of which aren’t more important than a voice on the other end of the line or a tech in a lab, granted part of my ignorance here was also driven by a lack of knowledge of the start of this series since I’ve not yet read the first novel. As a reader, for some crazy reason, I prefer the pages be uncluttered by too many characters – when there are so many of them, I feel as if I am being “rushed” with so many names that I am expected to keep straight and instead it is a turn off. Many of the settings, until about a quarter of the way through overwhelmed me because of the constant stream of characters, characters that I sometimes thought I should always remember should they play a more prominent role but I think I can say without doubt, I was never underwhelmed.
Because the mystery is meant to weave into an entire series, sometimes from the perspective of the reader we are a bit irked when the books ends and our characters are lulled into a false sense of security by the capture of a patsy villain and not the “real one.” That being said, the mystery and chills are top notch – the suspense never feels overdone, and in fact, often builds subtly to its crescendo but there is just enough of a “thrill factor” to keep us urgently turning the pages, desperate to know that Serena and Dom will be okay no matter that our sub conscious tells us everything will end just fine. The character’s themselves are wonderfully noble and yet perfectly flawed – both have skeletons and both, Serena and Dom feel free enough to explore where their attraction could lead. Plus, they were just cute together, Dom with his protective nature and Serena with her independent streak that she can and does curtail when the situation calls for it. Eason has definitely made me a fan with ‘Heart’ and I look forward to her next books, hopefully featuring some of the brilliant supporting characters that this story boasts.
In Summary: If you are a fan of any crime procedural like NCIS or Blue Bloods, or the talents of Dee Henderson, you will enjoy this pulse-pounding intrigue – it’s one prose not to be missed! Trust me.
Synopsis: Spunky and outgoing, nothing much bothers medical examiner Serena Hopkins–except for the thought of falling in love again. But when a serial killer is picking off her former classmates, Serena’s life becomes intertwined with her old high school crush, FBI agent Dominic Allen. Is the secret she’s keeping putting her next on the killer’s hit list? Can she trust Dominic with the truth before it’s too late? Intense, emotional, and fast-paced, When a Heart Stops will have readers up late as they race to the finish to find out what happens. – from the publisher
With thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this book for reviewing purposes.
Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.