I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway.
Eagle's Nest, Oregon contains a large community of preppers - people who stock up on food, water, wood, medical supplies, equipment, guns, and so on. They plan to to be ready for a catastrophe, which they call 'the end of the world as we know it.' As the book opens someone has killed two preppers and stolen their weapons.
Sheriff Truman Daly, the nephew of a prepper victim, is determined to find his uncle's killer and calls in the FBI. The Portland office sends Agents Eddie Peterson and Mercy Kilpatrick. Mercy, an attractive thirty-something woman, actually lived in Eagle's Nest until the age of eighteen. At that time a tragic occurrence caused a huge rift between Mercy and her prepper family. So Mercy left town never to return.....until now. Mercy is understandably anxious, knowing she'll see family members and old acquaintances in Eagle's Nest.
Before long another prepper is killed and broken mirrors at all the crime scenes link the prepper deaths to two rape/murders that occurred 15 years ago. Mercy knows about these cold cases for two reasons: the teenage victims were schoolmates of her sister Pearl; and Mercy and her sister Rose were attacked around that time - probably by the same unknown perp (or perps).
Sheriff Daly and Mercy work together closely to solve the crimes. The sheriff is very attracted to Mercy and - noting that she's nervous and tight-lipped about some things - resolves to winkle out her secrets. Daly even follows Mercy when she takes a drive at night, to see where she's going. Mercy's a little angry at first, but this is a mystery/romance....so sparks eventually ignite. (Daly's behavior REALLY irritates me. What business does he have prying into Mercy's private affairs? IMO he should mind his own business!)
As the story unfolds we meet Mercy's mother, father, and siblings - some of whom are more conciliatory than others. Mercy also interviews various residents of Eagle's Nest including a mentally challenged man who's very helpful with the investigation. Later on there's an abduction....and a frantic search for the victim.
For me, this book doesn't work. The incident that occurred 15 years before - which led to Mercy's voluntary exile from Eagle's Nest - was more than justified in my opinion. Mercy's father's hard-headed 'family first' attitude is irresponsible (to put it mildly). Mercy's brother does things that are not credible. Moreover, almost everything about the perp (who I hardly recalled as a character) is 'off': why he breaks mirrors; why he steals guns; why he abducted someone....I didn't buy any of it. Finally, the romance between Mercy and Daly was too treacly for me.
I understand this is the first book in a series, but I don't know if I'll read any more. That said, fans of romantic suspense might like the book better than I did.
Rating: 2 stars