Buried Secrets

Buried SecretsBuried Secrets by Irene Hannon
Series: Men of Valor
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Revell on April 7, 2015
Pages: 384
Also in this series: Tangled Webs
Also by this author: Deceived, Hope Harbor, Tangled Webs

 

A body has been unearthed on an unremarkable piece of land, its sparse and complete skeleton suggesting it’s been there for a long time. It will take police chief Lisa Grant a lot of skill to figure out what went wrong. Her team of investigators is joined by detective Mac McGregor – well, he isn’t exactly assigned to the case, but the electricity sparking between him and Lisa means that the case becomes quite important to him. The investigation leads to unlikely places and unlikely suspects, but it is only a matter of time before their digging starts stirring up buried secrets from the past that cause the criminal to take drastic measures.

Irene Hannon achieved a wonderful balance of all the aspects a romantic suspense novel should have.

Irene Hannon has been writing for a while, and I’ve only just recently discovered her. I have a lot of catch-up reading to do because for me, she’s achieved a wonderful balance of all the aspects a romantic suspense novel should have.

First of all, the mystery and answers to the questions surrounding this unearthed body unravels at just the right pace. The investigation progresses swiftly and as it moves along the stakes just get higher, keeping me focused and tense in my armchair until the very end. Without giving any spoilers, I have to say that there was originality in the criminals that are eventually revealed. They are not the typical image of what murderers are like – evil, cold-blooded, hardened criminals – in fact, they could be you or me. Of course, this does not excuse their actions – and one in particular is certainly cold-blooded! – but the author has used normal, broken human beings and shown the reaching consequences of sin and evil when left unchecked. I appreciated the freshness and honesty of showing who criminals really are: people like us whose lack of love and support means their lives go horribly wrong.

I appreciated the freshness and honesty of showing who criminals really are: people like us whose lack of love and support means their lives go horribly wrong.

Next, of course, is the romance: there’s plenty of sparks flying between the hero and heroine very early on! I have to say that the instant attraction took me a little while to get past. I know it happens in real life and it happens a lot in romantic fiction, though I wonder sometimes whether this can be overused. Also the misunderstanding between Lisa and Mac at the beginning, and the slight antagonism this creates, could be considered a little cliché. That said, however, clichés are popular and overused because they work. I couldn’t help smiling at Mac as he dealt with the growing attraction, and the awkwardness between the couple at the start was really needed because it does make it a little less like a ‘love at first sight’ scenario. And let’s face it: everyone knows they’re going to get together, so why waste time beating around the bush?

Lisa and Mac are an adorable couple and I loved watching their relationship flourish. But what I loved most about the main characters was the fact they were flawed and had clear weaknesses within their personal lives. This made them more relatable to me and I liked how we saw them in their personal lives…especially Mac’s brothers. They were down-to-earth, so real and so likeable!

Lisa and Mac are an adorable couple and I loved watching their relationship flourish.

All of this comes with a light dusting of faith – or rather, the faith elements are embedded deep and are so inherent in the characters’ actions that no overt preaching is required to write a Christian novel. Anyone could read this book and I do believe the faith elements are enough to cause a non-Christian reader to think about sin and its consequences.

It’s easy to tell that I am a fan of Irene Hannon. While I am showering it with praise, it isn’t sugar-coating or me simply wanting to praise one of my favourite authors. This author knows how to write a good story and Buried Secrets is just another testament to that fact. Thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommended.

–Christel


 

When old buried secrets are discovered, Chief Lisa Grant and Detective Mac McGregor’s paths cross. Each of them looking for new beginnings, the instant chemistry between them is undeniable. As the case unfolds, and more bodies turn up dead, Lisa and Mac are determined to get to the bottom of it so they can explore their romantic possibilities.

Each of them looking for new beginnings, the instant chemistry between them is undeniable.

I’m not quite sure where to start with this one. When I began the story, I was hoping for a hook, line, and sinker type suspense. The prologue was intriguing, but not enough to put me on the edge of my seat. And then, the story kind of swirled into more of a romance than a suspense. While I like romance mixed in, it almost felt like the whole first half of the book was a romance.

I’ve never read a suspense book quite like this one before.

Once the second half began, and they began questioning old friends of the victim, then it started to pick up a bit, especially when more bodies were found and determined to be “accidental” deaths. The one reason I gave this book 4 instead of three stars, was because the second half did pick up, and I’ve never read a suspense book quite like this one before. It was really interesting to know what was going on, but having to watch Lisa and Mac discover it and try to figure out what happened.

I love when the romance just naturally spills through the suspense aspect of the story line and is a sweet addition to the suspense instead of the main focus as it was in this one. I hope the next one in the series covers one of Mac’s brothers, but hope that the focus isn’t so heavily placed on the romance side of the story.

–Jodie

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