Review of Be Afraid

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Jenna Thompson has taken a leave of absence from her job as a forensic artist in Baltimore.  She has returned to Nashville, where she lived as a child until the age of five.  She has returned looking for answers in the brutal murder of her parents and sister.  The last case that she worked on in Baltimore, when she found a young child being held captive in a closet, has brought back repressed memories of what happened to her the night her family was murdered.  She too was held captive in a closet and she was rescued after being held for nine days.  Although the murderer and kidnapper was caught in her case, she feels like there is more to the story.  She wants to know why her family was targeted and she keeps seeing  “eyes” that she believes hold an important piece of the puzzle.

Rick Morgan is a detective for the Nashville Police Department.  When a small child’s bones are discovered, wrapped in a pink blanket, he has a difficult cold case to solve.   When his sister suggests asking Jenna, who she has met, if she would reconstruct the face of the child, he knows he has nothing to lose by trying it.  Jenna is one of the best forensic artists in the country, and she once again proves her ability by providing them with a reconstructed face that they can go to the media with.

The child cold case is not the only one that Rick must work on.  He also has to try to solve a arson that involves a dead woman.  He has very little clues to work with but he needs to find out who the arsonist is before more women are murdered and more fires are set.

The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read.  The author does suspense really well and I just had to keep swiping pages to see what would happen next.  The suspense started building during the Prologue and just continued to gain momentum throughout the entire book.  There were a lot of twists and turn and many suspects to consider.   I love the way the author intertwined different storylines and events to create one cohesive storyline.  Everything going on is related but I could not figure out how and who the killer was.

The characters are well developed, realistic and three dimensional.  The two main characters, Jenna and Rick, both come with baggage from their pasts that is still affecting them.  Jenna has her murdered family and kidnapping to deal with and Rick has the fact that he was shot on a routine traffic stop. They are trying to work through these issues while trying to live their lives and work on their current cases.  This made them seem very human and fragile and I loved that.    Rick has siblings that also work in law enforcement and I was happy to learn a little more about all of them (I met them in book one, Cover Your Eyes).  I enjoyed reading about the family dynamics and cannot wait to find out more about them in future books.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading a well-crafted suspense/mystery.  There is a hint of romance but for the most part I would consider this book a mystery that is a real page-turner.  I have read other books by this author and I have enjoyed them all.  I do not think you can wrong reading any of her books.

I was lucky enough to receive a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.  And my honest opinion is that this is a five star book. I would like to thank NetGalley and Kensington Books for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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