I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Ashes and Bone by Stacy Green
Series: Delta Crossroads #3
Published by Self Published on February 25, 2014
Genres: Romantic Suspense
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Just when Jaymee Ballard’s life seems to be on track, a massive derecho attacks the Delta Crossroads sowing destruction in its path. Her boyfriend, investigative journalist Nick Samuels, comes up missing, and she fears the worst.
Nick’s abandoned car contains evidence of his involvement uncovering a controversial case mired in political power and greed. While her friend and local detective, Cage Foster, heads up the inquiry into Nick’s kidnapping, Jaymee finds it impossible to sit back and do nothing.
Enlisting the help of her best friend, Dani Evans, Jaymee discovers a trail leading to the dangerous and secretive Dixie Mafia. Facing a fraudulent Confederate artifact scheme, dark local history, and a powerful enemy lurking in the shadows, the two friends find themselves holding the key to not only Nick’s disappearance, but a shameful town secret someone will kill to protect.
In the first two books of this trilogy, Jaymee Ballard and Nick Samuels began their relationship, as did Dani Evans and Cage Foster. And, the four of them created a new friendship with each other in the midst of life or death circumstances. Just when everyone thought that their lives were finally settling into some level of normalcy, Nick turns up missing in the middle of a sudden derecho as he was returning to Roselea unexpectedly. And Cage, newly promoted to an investigator within the department, proceeds with other law enforcement to find him while trying to control his two amateur detectives (Jaymee and Dani).
This was a really interesting puzzler, told alternatively from each of their points of view, including Nick’s who provided some critical clues that helped me identify who had taken him. Even with that information, I was completely in the dark as to why and that’s what made the story so intriguing. And, there still were a couple of twists waiting for me near the end. It was a whodunit dream, piecing together clues, motives and suspects.
The only romantic angle was what had already been created in the earlier books but it was the driver behind Jaymee’s urgency and zeal in doing everything she could to help find Nick. Both of them re-examined their relationship during the ordeal, developing a new commitment. At times it was almost heartbreaking to be “listening in.”
The bottom line
This was a fitting conclusion to a truly enjoyable trilogy. Secondary characters were leveraged extremely well to create more tension and intrigue. I’ll miss this series as it was well written and executed with colorful characters having tons of flaws and likability. This book doesn’t standalone, though, as events in the earlier stories are essential to know but not detailed here.