Keeping You In Suspense

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately — many of the books aren’t ones I’ve chosen to read, but had to read because I’ve been judging 3 separate contests. I’ve found some real gems that have made me look for more by that author and I’ve read some books that…well, weren’t as engaging. (Remember reading is SUBJECTIVE–what I like, you may not, and vice versa.)

**EDITED** The contest is now closed. Thank you to everyone who took the time to comment or help promote it via Facebook and Twitter.

So when I do get to read a book I chose to pick up on my own, and I find myself sucked into the world, I’m doubly pleased. There are several that have landed on my keeper shelf so far this year:  Shiloh Walker’s Ash Trilogy (three books!), Julie James’ About That Night, and Anne Calhoun’s Liberating Lacey.  And my favorite of them all, Patricia Brigg’s Fair Game. Hmm, I want to do them all justice so I think I’ll give them each their own special day in the coming weeks. Starting with…

Shiloh Walker's Ash Trilogy

Shiloh Walker’s trilogy If You Hear Her, If You See Her, If You Know Her.  Sexy   romance with chilling suspense.  Shiloh’s stories had to juggle the romance between her hero and heroine while maintaining the suspense of the local serial killer and his victims. One of the differences in her trilogy from most other romantic suspenses I’ve read, is that the killer is not arrested at the end of book one. Their identity isn’t revealed until two thirds of the way through book three. From what I’ve read, she caught a little flack from readers who wanted an ending at the first book, and while it surprised me, I didn’t mind.  I’ve read other thrillers where the killer remains at large or unknown throughout the series — heck, Moriarty in the Sherlock Holmes books, anyone?  But if you’re expecting the killer to be arrested and tied up in a bow for the prosecutor at the end of book one, be warned. You have to read all three books for that to happen.

I really enjoyed how Shiloh’s heroine Lena in If You Hear Her is blind but capable and independent.  I loved Ezra (the hero) and I want a dog just like Puck. (though not for the reason Lena has to have him.)  I was a little worried about the heroine in If You See Her — Hope Carson was a battered wife who has finally managed to escape her abusive cop husband.  Since I used to work with a lot of battered women, I know how strong they can be, but how it takes time to find their strength again after being convinced they’re useless.  So I worried that Hope would be portrayed as the stereotypical dishrag. Shiloh “got it” and Hope, like the women I used to teach, is finding her independence and demanding she be treated with respect.  I wanted to like Remy more than I did — at the very start he falls for the ex-husband’s lies about Hope’s sanity, which given that the husband is a cop, is understandable but I wanted to box his ears on occasion. Groveling does occur, which redeems him.

Shiloh put twists and turns into the suspense — while in the first book there was one character that she obviously pointed to as the killer and I knew that it was too obvious, she did indeed twist the story and sent it off in a different direction.  So then I had a couple other suspects in mind. And yeah, they had to be discarded as suspects as we moved through the series. Sometimes I like knowing who the killer is and wondering how they’re going to get caught (like in the old television show Colombo) and others I like not knowing and trying to figure it out as I read along. (There’s a certain smug satisfaction to being able to say “I knew it!” at the end. Especially if others haven’t guessed.)  By the time I got to the end of If You Know Her, I’d pretty much eliminated all the other suspects I had and there wasn’t much of a surprise (to me) about who the killer is (but remember it took 2 2/3rds books before I got there!) Plus there’s a really interesting twist at the end about their motivation that sticks with me even now. I love when a book can do that to me.

I think I need to reread the entire series now so I can pick up the clues and hints I missed the first time around.

So I’m going to give away the entire trilogy to one lucky commenter (in paperback, courtesy of BookDepository.com) Tell me whether you’re the type of romantic suspense reader who likes to know the killer straight off or if you prefer to guess who it is.

The contest is open internationally to wherever Bookdepository.com/uk delivers.  Oh, and I’ll leave the contest open until Sunday night, for those who do their blog reading on the weekends. I’ll announce the winner next Monday.

 

 

36 thoughts on “Keeping You In Suspense

  1. Personally I love the ones that keep you guessing right up until the last minute and mean you have thought it was 2 or three different people first!

  2. I want to guess who it is. I want to unravel the mystery like the protagonists. Total turn-off to beat over the head four or five times with the same clues, OR when those on the run don’t “unplug” from their world. Give me smart characters!

    Loved the post!
    ~Angi

  3. I love to be kept guessing until the end. It is always so much more enjoyable when the twist comes at the end! I actually read faster! Lol!

  4. I love to be kept guessing until the end. It is always so much more enjoyable when the twist comes at the end! I actually read faster! Lol

  5. I love to keep guessing… and Shiloh is awesome at keeping that edge until the very last.

  6. I am one of those that reads the first few chapters, then reads the ending to see who did it. It is fun for me to track the clues as I read, and wonder how and when they will get caught.

    • Cathy, you’re not the only one to read ahead. A friend from one of my real-life book clubs does the same thing, saying she can pick up on the clues better the first time around. (I went to a talk once where the speaker said that when shopping for a book in a brick-and-mortar store, they’d determined that most romance readers — not just suspense readers — will flip to the last page and read it after they’ve read the first page. Not according to most of the readers I’ve met, but I do know a few.)

  7. Thanks for the generous giveaway, this series has been on my wishlist for a while now. I do like to be surprised in my (romantic) suspense. If I cannot guess who it is, the author has done a great job of it. But sometimes the suspense is part of the hunt when they do know him, but first have to prove it, and then catch him. I like both.

  8. I like to guess… Then love it when we find out who it is and my guesses were off. Then of course I have to go back and see where I went wrong…. :-)

    • LOL, that’s why I’m thinking I need to go back and reread it too. Because I’m betting there’s all sorts of clues I missed the first go-round.

  9. I like the ones that keep you guessing. If you find out the killer/bad guy right away, where’s the suspense?!

  10. I love a good romantic suspense, where the blending of the two genre are integral to the development of the stories and the characters. That said, I don’t like to be jerked around too much when I’m reading suspense. Throw too many red herrings into the mix and I’ll quickly lose interest.

    I’ve heard plenty of good bus about this trilogy, and I definitely need to read it.

  11. I prefer the ones I can;t figure out until the last minute – much more intriguing that way!

    This series sounds awesome!!

  12. I would love to read these books. I have them on my wishlist and think they sound like great suspense books. I prefer to read suspenses where the killer/bad guy is a mystery. I like the suspense and guessing and trying to guess who the killer is based on the clues of the story.
    Thanks so much for the chance to win these books. *Fingers crossed*
    June
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  13. I love to feel smart so if you give me a romspence that I can figure out ALMOST at the end then there’s a race to beat the killer, I’ll love you to pieces.

  14. I love being surprised at the end of the book. I think its great when you are kept in suspense til the end. Especially when all the clues point to another person.
    Please enter me to win the paperback Shiloh Walker – Ash trilogy.

    Loribooklover62@aol.com

  15. I lime to discover the killer in the last 10% of the novel, because I love the suspense to draw out. Though most of the time I make a correct guess before the reveal, I still like the concealment. But, I have read some books who take it too far and the last few pages is not cool. It seems too rushed to wrap up the story arc, if the killer is revealed too late.

  16. I like the suspense of not knowing. Just a few glimpses of the killer’s point of view to get into his head and his observations and then “WHAM!” the identity is revealed. If a second reading to see if I missed anything is needed, even better. :o)

  17. I love going through a book guessing and then being proved wrong. I get bored with predictable so I love when an author throws in twist and turns leaving u on the edge of your seat. Those are the books u lose track of time in and next thing u know it’s 4 oclock in the morning.

  18. I prefer to not know to the end. It keeps me on the edge of my seat to try and guess who it is. Thanks for having this giveaway.

    Kandj7299 at Verizon dot net

  19. I prefer to guess who it is and not know until the end. It makes the story a more intriguing read to not know until the end. Thank you for the great giveaway. I love Shiloh’s books.
    Crystal816[at]hotmail[dot]com

  20. In general, I also prefer to do the “guess and re-guess” game, although there have been a few instances where knowing soon after the deed happens, and learning along the way just why that person done it like s/he did is more satisfying. Very rare for that, however.

    All of Shiloh’s books are good, but this trilogy is awesome! I would love to have a real, paper copy of it!!

    Thanks for the opportunity!

    Later,

    Lynn

  21. Most of the time I enjoy figuring it out but if the writer intends for you to watch the mind of the killer and how he manipulates events, that can be cool. After your description of the way Shiloh creates these twists, I’m really looking forward to reading this series.

  22. Hi Leah
    Don’t enter me. I loved this series. Even once I knew who the villain was, I was still curious about how it would play out. So glad you enjoyed.

  23. I prefer to guess who the killer is. I love the suspense and trying to figure out who would be the killer until the end of the book.
    Thank you for the great giveaway!

  24. I prefer to not know until the end who the killer is. I love the build up of the suspense, and I love it even more if it turns out to be someone I never would have guessed.

  25. I truly love the ones that keep you guessing up until the end. I love thinking i know then a few pages later i think it someone else. However, I will say I have enjoyed many books where you know or somewhat know who the bad guy/girl is. Keep up the excellent writing.

  26. I love when you can’t figure out who it is until the end. Even better is when there are lots of surpises that get you gasping or shouting out when something good is revealed (even though my husband or kids think I’m a little crazy!)

  27. Hi, Leah–I think it depends a bit on my mood. Sometimes I just like a little more certainty in the world, and it makes me feel better to have an idea of who’s responsible and to feel confident that justice is coming :) On the other hand, I love it when an author can keep me wondering all the way and then wrap it up in a way I never saw coming! Thanks for letting us know about Shi’s fantastic trilogy!

  28. The contest is now closed — I used random.org to choose the winner — who is Tequila Young. (I’ll be sending her an email shortly for her snail mail addy.)

    Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter. I hope even though you didn’t win, you’ll still look up Shiloh’s books.

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