Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Closer Than She Knows by Kelly Irvin {A Book Review}

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own. 

A serial killer bent on revenge . . . and striking too close to home. 
Teagan O’Rourke has always loved murder mysteries. In her job as a court reporter, she has written official records for dozens of real-life murders. She’s slapped evidence stickers on crime scene photos. She’s listened to hours of chilling testimony. But she’s never known the smell of death. And she never thought she might be a victim. 
Until now. 
A young police officer is murdered just inches away from her, and then a man calling himself a serial killer starts leaving Teagan notes, signing each with the name of a different murderer from her favorite mystery novels. 
Panicked, Teagan turns to her friend Max Kennedy. Max longs for more than friendship with Teagan, but he fears she’ll never trust someone with a past like his. He wonders how much of God’s “tough love” he can take before he gives up on love completely. And he wonders if he’ll be able to keep Teagan alive long enough to find out. 
As Teagan, Max, and Teagan’s police officer father race to track down the elusive killer, they each know they could be the next victim. Desperate to save those she loves, Teagan battles fears that once haunted her in childhood. Nothing seems to stop this obsessed murderer. No matter what she does, he seems to be getting closer . . .

Kelly Irvin is the bestselling author of the Every Amish Season and Amish of Bee County series. The Beekeeper’s Son received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, who called it a “beautifully woven masterpiece.” The two-time Carol Award finalist is a former newspaper reporter and retired public relations professional. Kelly lives in Texas with her husband, photographer Tim Irvin. They have two children, three grandchildren, and two cats. In her spare time, she likes to read books by her favorite authors. Visit her online at KellyIrvin.com; Instagram: kelly_irvin; Facebook: Kelly.Irvin.Author; Twitter: @Kelly_S_Irvin.

Kelly Irvin might be best known for her Amish fiction, but if you haven't yet checked out her romantic suspense novels, you are truly missing out! I have enjoyed her previous works in the genre, so I couldn't wait to check out Closer Than She Thinks as well.

The action picked up right from the start, as a police officer is shot as she sits next to the main character, Teagan. It doesn't let up from there, as more bodies pile up throughout...leaving behind notes to Teagan, signed by the fictional killers in the mysteries that she so adores. As a fan of mystery novels myself, I must admit I really enjoyed the idea of this particular calling card. It certainly drew me in and kept me wondering who the killer was, and how all the many details in the story fit together.

Now, I must admit that I actually figured out the 'whodunnit' in this one well before the big reveals- both in the who I suspected it might be and his or her relationship to others in the story. But again, I read a LOT of this type of story, so I've gotten pretty good at picking up on the little clues throughout. Despite figuring it out, it didn't take away my enjoyment of the story. There were still a few other elements that came as more of a surprise and kept me wondering if my initial guesses had in fact been incorrect... and all in all it kept me reading to the end to put all the pieces together.

I also enjoyed the romance throughout the story as well, though found it certainly took a backseat to the action in this one. There was also a strong faith element in this story, which I personally enjoy very much. I will say that I didn't find this one to be quite as good as others I've read by the author in the past, but still a very good suspense read nonetheless. If you enjoy Christian romantic suspense, this will certainly be one worth checking out. 


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