Bayou Christmas Disappearance


Publisher’s Synopsis:
She’ll help him find a kidnapped victim He’ll keep her alive in the process Mona Avery is determined to investigate Dillon Reed’s high-profile missing person case in the Louisiana bayou. Even if stubborn Detective Reed insists the hotshot investigative journalist is a hindrance. For Mona, the case is personal, especially at Christmas. Working closely with the detective makes it hard to deny their attraction. But a killer wants Mona’s story silenced … and only Dillon can keep her safe …

Point of view:
3rd person. Alternating between Mona & Dillon’s perspectives.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
DNF @ 35%.

I was looking forward to this, especially because so many of the reviews mentioned it being heavier on the suspense and lighter on the romance – which is how I like my romantic suspense.

Unfortunately, the writing wasn’t clicking for me here. While I give Mona latitude for getting in over her head since she’s an investigative reporter, she still had several TSTL moments. There were also plot points that didn’t make sense. (see spoilers below) Romantically, I felt nothing between Dillon & Mona and they’ve only had some very stilted conversations up to this point. Granted, it could be better developed later.

I’m willing to try other writing of Wheatley’s to see if I connect better with another story.

Plot issues (spoilers):
I get not wanting to take Dillon with her to meet with potential sources/witnesses – but going to investigate a crime scene alone after receiving threats seems a bit dense. Then her car is vandalized with spray paint and set on fire, yet somehow it’s a complete surprise to law enforcement. Dillon is the lead investigator but doesn’t know that when Olivia’s parents called to report her missing that she’d been gone for over a week. But the beginning of the story says it’s common knowledge when the last time she was seen was.

Part of the problem may be how Elle Cleviden is performing some of the characters. I loved her in The Three Mrs. Greys – but it’s not working here. Mona is coming off screechy, dense, and naïve. Cleviden’s male voices all sound very old. I usually like the deeper, gravely register – but Dillon sounds (to me) like someone in his 50s.

Published by rellimreads

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