Pros: So totally in tears! An emotional roller-coaster tied to a dark mystery and some wonderful characters
Rating: 5 out of 5
Hope Carson is a survivor of domestic abuse, still battling her demons and trying to get her feet under her. It was her terrible luck to try to piece her life back together while visiting her friend Law, whose small town has just become the site of a terrible killing. As if that weren’t enough, Law was attacked and Hope was made to look as though she’d tried to kill both him and herself.
It takes golden-boy local DA Remy Jennings a while to catch up to the fact that she’s innocent. He feels it in his gut, but he also knows he’s having trouble remaining objective about her, and that means he needs to be particularly careful about basing his decisions only on the evidence at hand. Thankfully that evidence does eventually turn up, leaving him free to think about whether or not to pursue his interest in her. He knows she comes with baggage, maybe more than he can handle. But he just can’t seem to stay away from her.
Unfortunately for both of them, Hope’s ex-husband, the one who battered her, the one who tried to convince Remy she was violent and manipulative, now knows where she is. And he’s determined to bring her back home, no matter what he has to do to accomplish it. He isn’t counting, however, on an unlikely protector who doesn’t want to see Hope hurt…
Shiloh Walker’s If You See Her is the second book in a romantic suspense trilogy that began with If You Hear Her. I adored that book, and when I found out that I’d somehow missed the fact that If You See Her had come out, I immediately bought the e-book and devoured it. I was reading it over breakfast and I was so caught up in the story that when I got up to make coffee, I ended up standing in the middle of the kitchen reading for a half an hour rather than actually making the coffee. I just couldn’t stop.
I just don’t worry any more about whether I’ll ever be let down by one of Ms. Walker’s books. Of course I enjoy some of them more than others, but damn… not a one of them has failed to keep me glued to my seat, usually dissolving into tears by the end. She doesn’t tack on the suspense as an afterthought to add tension to the romance—there’s a complex mystery here, and while I have my own suspicions as to who the murderer might be, I really don’t know for sure. And that isn’t even the only interesting plot going on. I’ve also loved the multiple romance plots; each one is wholly its own thing, with a different dynamic between very different characters.
Another thing I love is how she handles friendships. A lot of strain is put on some friendships in here, as is to be expected when something terrible happens to people. There are no easy answers, though; Walker doesn’t try to portray any of the difficulties as black or white. She doesn’t magically wave them away in order to reconcile people, but neither does she needlessly hold characters apart to artificially induce tension. It feels… natural. True to life. Both beautiful and tragic. I love to see her characters grow and change with their circumstances, and I think the most graceful example of this is Hope’s story. It would be unrealistic to have Hope magically push aside everything that happened to her, but we also as readers want to see her get her feet under her and get to have the awesome guy. I was delighted with how Ms. Walker handles this situation—again, nothing is simple or easy, but her characters do grow and change.
I think the final book, If You Know Her, is supposed to be out in a week or thereabouts. It’s a good thing, because if it was any less time I might not be ready to cry that hard again. And if it was any more I might go nuts from waiting to find out what happens next.