Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Profilers and serial killers in Such a Pretty Girl by Tess Diamonds

Such a Pretty GirlAuthor: Tess Diamond
Series: Unknown
Released: September 26th 2017
Publisher: Avon
Length: 384 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

In Grace Sinclair’s bestselling crime novels, the good guys win and the bad guys always get caught. As the FBI’s top profiler, she knows that real life is rarely so straightforward. But her new case isn’t just brutal—it’s also personal. The victims look like Grace. And the FBI recruit assigned to her team is trouble of another kind.
This isn’t how Special Agent Gavin Walker imagined running into Grace again. Two years ago they shared one earth-shattering night, then she vanished from his life. She’s brilliant, fiercely independent, and in mortal danger from a killer masterminding a twisted game …
The body count is rising. Entangled in the case and in each other, Gavin and Grace are running out of time and chances. And as Grace puts the pieces together, she knows she’ll have to confront her own deepest secrets before the final, fatal move is played. 

I grew up reading books about strong women in law enforcement, forensic experts, profilers, hostage negotiators and such. Through most of my teen years, I had Patricia Cornwell’s books for breakfast, Tess Gerritsen’s for lunch, and Kathy Reichs’ for dinner and company through sleepless nights. I learned invaluable lessons about being a career woman from these authors and their heroines, and I even found my life-long literary love in Kay Scarpetta’s Benton Wesley. Needless to say, I’m very attached to the genre and I always slip comfortably into its rhythm.

Such a Pretty Girl is a spin-off from Tess Diamond’s O’Connor and Kincaid series. It can function pretty well as a standalone, even though the events from the previous books are mentioned fairly often. I was curious enough to buy a copy of Dangerous Games and learn about those secondary characters in greater detail. Having read both, I can say that I like Maggie and Jake from Dangerous Games even more, but Grace and Jake aren’t far behind.

As a self-proclaimed romantic suspense addict with a taste for danger, Diamond understands the ins and outs of the genre and she uses her vast knowledge to her advantage. Such a Pretty Girl is a bit heavy on the romance for my taste. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but the serial killings felt more like a backdrop at times, just something to fill the pages between steps in the relationship. There were several things that would have bothered me in a straight up mystery/police procedural, but they bothered me less when I realized romance would be at the forefront.

Both Jake and Grace are very competent, and their interactions are a marvel, with a deep connection and understanding quickly forming between them. At times, Jake struck me as just a bit too perfect, tailored to precisely fit Grace’s needs and personality. Some friction would have been better, but at least their chemistry was off the charts.

I went into this expecting something far stronger in the mystery department, but I wasn’t too disappointed with what I ended up reading. Such a Pretty Girl is dark at times, very romantic, and fast-paced and it flows smoothly from start to finish. It may not be the best developed mystery I’ve read, but it’s an attention grabber, and that’s more than enough in these scorching summer months. Fans of romantic suspense should give it a try.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.

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