Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Detective Defender - Marilyn Pappano (HRS #1957 - Aug 2017)

"Someone knows, Martine. And they're coming after us."

Martine Broussard has never forgotten the terrible night years ago that drove her and her best friends apart. Now a vengeful someone is brutally killing each woman involved. Martine has one chance at survival -- and that's the one person she distrusts most! And the passion flaring between them is anything but safe…

Rule-breaking New Orleans detective Jimmy DiBiase wastes no time putting Martine under his 24/7 personal protection. His bad-boy ways caused them to fall out years ago; now all he wants is to guard her and end this nightmare. With every lead they follow, every secret they can't hide sparks a hunger neither can resist -- even as a killer's vicious end game turns desire into a devastating trap.

Good second chance romance mixed with some pretty intense suspense. Martine is surprised when she gets a phone call from an old friend she hasn't seen in twenty-four years. Pauline wants to see her and tells her that someone is killing their group over a teenage prank. Martine is reluctant to believe it until Pauline ends up dead also. Jimmy is the lead detective on the case. He and Martine have a history together, one that he regrets and would like to change.

I enjoyed the development of their relationship. Martine is still angry at Jimmy over the fact that he had still been married when he made a pass at her. She's made her feelings known every time they encountered each other over the year, which was fairly often, as Jimmy's partner is her best friend's husband. But she can't deny her relief at his presence now. Jimmy has had a bad boy reputation for a long time, especially with the ladies, but now he's ready for something different. He just has to convince her that he has changed. Martine remembers how attracted she was to him before she found out he was married and discovers that she still is. She's wary of trusting him again. I loved their conversations as Martine begins to see and accept that Jimmy has changed for the better. His protectiveness and sensitivity showed her a side of him she had never seen before. Their attraction simmers away as Jimmy sticks close to her until it finally comes to a boil. One of the things that I loved about them is that both are mature enough to talk about the things that caused their problems and work through them. I loved seeing how their coming together made him realize how deep his feelings for her really were. Martine also accepted her feelings for him but wasn't ready to risk telling him. Nearly losing each other in the final confrontation opened their eyes to what was important. I loved their big moment in the end, especially Martine's final line.

The suspense of the story was very good. Martine's first contact with Pauline brought back the memories of the event that had driven them apart. Martine could see Pauline's fear and wanted to help, but Pauline ran before she could. The discovery of Pauline's body and what was done to it gave a good indication of just how creepy and evil this killer was. I wanted to shake Martine the first time she talked to Jack and Jimmy for not telling them everything and loved that they both knew she wasn't. She wasn't fully convinced she was in danger until her first contact from the killer. Several people became possible suspects, and just as I would settle on one, something else would make me lean towards another. As the tension built, I kept waiting for the killer to find a way to get to Martine in spite of Jimmy's efforts to keep her safe. The final confrontation provided a couple of surprising twists, including who ended up taking down the killer.

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