Author: C. Hope Clark
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Overall Rating 4.85 out of 5 Stars
Carolina Slade has always played by the rules. Follow the rules, and life goes along fairly smoothly, with only a few bumps and bruises along the way. At least that’s what she used to think. Now, the only thing that seems clear cut is that someone wants Slade dead.
From a sinister hog farmer to a missing boss, and a dead co-worker, Slade is up into her neck, and everything and everyone around her seems to throw the rulebook to the four winds. Add to the mix, a marriage that is falling apart, and a federal agent who is easy on the eyes and not so easy on the mind, and Slade needs to learn to make the right choice before a killer makes it for her.
First, let me say that I knew about this book when it first came out- and was introduced to it when my neighbor literally grabbed me by the arm and said “You must read this! She writes just like Martha Grimes! Honestly!” Sadly, life, work, and other boring things unrelated to reading got in the way, and it wasn’t until now that I got a chance to sit down and read the book.
I’m actually sorry I waited this long. While I don’t agree that her style is like that of Martha Grimes, I will say that her caliber of writing matches or even exceeds it. C. Hope Clark’s is a weaver, really, pulling together realistic characters that have faults and flaws with a setting and plot line that is rich, engaging, and completely immersive.
While I did enjoy reading the book and am planning on buying more of her work, there is one aspect of the story that I found a little off-putting. It seemed to me that one of the antagonists- Jesse seemed to always appear at the most inopportune time for the heroine. The first few times it was a surprise and thrilling, but after a while, my mind said “Really? No one noticed a smelly pig farmer hiding in the corner of the store? Again?”
Overall this a fantastic introduction to a new to me mystery series (I know, I know, I’m late to the party) and I strongly recommend it to my fellow readers. It’s a tightly woven story, contains heartbreakingly real-life characters, and a setting that will leave you wishing you were driving the backroads of the Lowcountry.
Special note: C. Hope Clark was kind enough to do a guest post on Emerald Musings a while back on how setting can influence a story Please feel free to check it out here.
0 Stars — Perfect for kindling or wasting space on your hard drive
1 Star — Perfect gift for that friend you can’t stand
2 Stars – Put it on your “to borrow” list
3 Stars – Buy it if you get the chance- worth a weekend read.
4 Stars Definitely add to your library
5 Stars- Impulse Buy Approved
© 2015, Laura Seeber. All rights reserved.