Review: Jillian Carter has been gone for ten years. For that long, she’s buried deep secrets – one that could change the life of the man she has loved all those years and another that will finally set her free. Used to taking care of herself, the Jillian who left all those years ago is not the same woman who is now back. First she has to prove that, on the night of her high school graduation, she saw a murder. Changing her name and appearance has only underscored that nowhere is safe – and the death of her best friend, the man who loved her – Jeff has just proved that; she has to make sure she lives to see the day when she no longer has to run. Most importantly, being back in her Southern home town rekindles old feelings as Jillian comes face-to-face with her past, friends, Serena and Alexia… and Colton – the boy she left all those years ago without a word of explanation.
The PROS: …and that is just the beginning! Concluding – or this is my assumption, a clever, tightly-connected series that is about a group of school chums and graduates, I think I can peg this series as one of the most interesting I’ve read in this genre. Had it not been for this series, I do not know when or if I’d have read any of Lynette’s books as soon as I did – what an entertaining adrenaline rush they are! There is never a dull moment in the precisely written plot, one that has been two books in the making (technically three, I know though my perspective is only two). What so impressed me with this Deadly Reunion series was how intimately connected each book was. Instead of the standard story that wraps each character story by the 300 page close, here each book builds off of one another – using the strengths and details to help along the best of the book. Or that is what I found inter-lapping the last two novels since the first is comfortably occupying my TBR pile.
WOW! What a story and golly, what a conclusion Eason give readers to her unique and fabulous three-book series. Jillian is a wonderful character we come to know as is the protective and trustworthy, Colton. I liked Colton from way back when so once I first suspected he and Jillian had a past that was more than merely classmates, I was all for their “reunion.” Wrapping up sweetly is an ending that puts a small piece of fairy-tale charm into an otherwise suspenseful plotted novel and leaves a smile but I am not sure it was completely enough for my curiosity (more on this later down). Cracking open the pages, what I expected of this and what I got were two completely different things. During the set-up, there was an expectation that I’d have more time to “catch my breath” and get to know the players prior to all the action coming to a head. Instead what I got was barely two chapters in and already fists were flying and in the fight of her life, Jillian was being asked to defend herself.
Reading through these 300-some pages, I was conflicted as to who the real antagonist was. One point lulls the reader into a false sense of security and fools us prior to a moment when our subconscious reveals who the “baddie” is. It’s a finale that wasn’t immediately expected being steered in one direction for the major part and taken another in the finale. ‘Secret’ is chocked full of revelations and intrigue. It has everything that this book should have and certainly lived up to my expectations…
CONS: Lost in the excitement and “chase,” I believe there was some lacking back-story work between our protagonists. There wasn’t enough exploration of them as an “us” and that made me sorry. Nonetheless, in a suspense novel, this is easily overlooked – and is hard to balance against the excitement that the reader craves.
Equally does this point carry over into a desire to know more about all the secondary characters – like Grayson, Blake or Katie. Though, I cannot legitimately claim this as a “con” considering all this is, is a surefire sign of a talented writer.
Conclusion: This story was dynamite! From the wonderful plotting to the characters (including a certain sassy pint-sized one), the entire book flowed in a way my reading sensibilities crave – everyone was abnormally “human,” that it it’s real crowning glory. That’s not to say there isn’t some unexpected moments to keep us on our toes; I was on edge, charmed and speed-read through portions just to find out what came next! If this is any sign of what’s to come, I am one fan who is most anxious to discover what Lynette has planned next. All that is left up in the air when the final word is read is the “when” of that event.
Synopsis: In When a Secret Kills by Lynette Eason, investigative reporter Jillian Carter knows it’s time to put the past to rest. Now, no matter what the cost, Jillian must do what she is trained to do: find the truth and expose it. And the truth is that Sen. Frank Hoffman committed murder 10 years ago — and Jillian watched it happen. Enjoy the nailbiting conclusion to the Deadly Reunions series.
With thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes
Available May 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.