Pros: Absolutely fantastic conclusion to the trilogy; it had a lot to live up to and it pulled it off
Rating: 5 out of 5
It all started in If You Hear Her when Lena heard screams behind her house at night. She knew what she’d heard, but almost no one believed her except a state cop, Ezra King, who was taking a leave of absence from his job after an injury. Once a dead body finally showed up it wasn’t long before the small town’s population turned against one another and accusations flew, ultimately resulting in one of Lena’s friends, Law Reilly, and his friend Hope, being implicated in the crime. To make matters that much worse, Law gets severely beaten in an attack and it appears that Hope is the one who attacked him.
In If You See Her, small-town golden boy lawyer Remy Jennings has to somehow straighten out this mess while dealing with his growing feelings for Hope. Unfortunately, Hope’s abusive ex-husband now knows where she is and is determined to haul her back home with him. Meanwhile, there’s still a killer out there somewhere.
If You Know Her makes a perfect conclusion to this romance/suspense trilogy. Nia, the cousin and only family of the murdered girl, returns to Ash, Kentucky because she can’t let her cousin’s disappearance go. She’s sure the small-town cops aren’t doing enough to find out who did it, and she’s equally certain that they’re dealing with a serial killer who not only will strike again, but already has. She finds an unlikely ally in Law, who not only buys into what she’s saying, but is willing to help her prove it. He just doesn’t want to see her get hurt along the way…
I’ve absolutely loved this trilogy from the start. Book one introduced an interesting serial killer plot and a huge cast of interesting characters, as well as a wonderful romance with plenty of chemistry. Book two continued the mystery, but provided a fantastic additional plot to keep things interesting; this kept the story from falling into any sort of obvious formula and introduced unexpected twists. Also, Hope and Remy’s budding relationship was very different from Lena and Ezra’s, which I liked. Now we dive back into the serial killer’s world full-force. As a reminder, there’s some fairly dark material in here (not prurient, just dark), so if that would bother you, this isn’t the series for you.
Here’s where I sprain my arm patting myself on the back for figuring out who the serial killer was ahead of time. However, Ms. Walker deserves even more praise for the fact that she kept enough uncertainties and red herrings going that I kept second-guessing my conclusions almost right up until the reveal. It’s incredibly difficult as a writer to ride that line where you provide enough information that the reader won’t feel cheated, but not so much that they’ll feel the characters are being stupid and missing the obvious.
Once again, the romance (Law and Nia) is entirely different in tone and flavor from those in the previous books, which is delightful. All of Shiloh’s pairings have chemistry, but it’s a different sort of chemistry in each one. This one was probably the hardest to pull off given how different the characters are and the circumstances under which they’ve met, yet I was able to buy into it. Nia borders on unlikable, but again it works because of the circumstances she’s in and the details of how she ultimately handles things.
There’s plenty of lust, suspense, hot sex, sweet romance, and terrifying tension to keep you from putting the book down until you’re done. I finished it in one afternoon, and I find myself hoping for another similar trilogy. Ms. Walker has a talent for long-term plotting, large casts, and intricate mysteries, and I’d like to read more of them. Even if it does mean going nuts waiting between books…