This is the first book I have read by author Lis Wiehl. She has written such books as “Face of Betrayal”, a New York Times Bestseller, and part of her Triple Threat mysteries. After reading Waking Hours, I will be picking up copies of her earlier work. I really enjoyed this suspenseful, paranormal mystery thriller. This is the first book in the East Salem Trilogy.
The story takes place in quaint East Salem; a lake side, close knit community where everyone knows everybody. I loved the way the author portrayed this town, its buildings, people and places. It’s the type of New England town you dream of living in or visting. A brutal ritualistic murder of a young woman occurs and sets this sleepy little town on edge. All of the suspects in this crime are teenagers who attended a party the night of the murder. Crime scene evidence suggests they were all involved, but all of the kids are suffering from memory loss.
Forensic psychiatrist Dani Harris, a member of the local DA’s office, finds herself taking the lead in this case when her boss in unavoidably detained. Dani has always been a hard working overachiever in her professional life but in her personal life, not so much. She seems confident, like a woman with a plan, but she is often filled with self doubt and questions her every move.
PI in training, Tommy Gunderson is a formal pro-football linebacker and local celebrity. He left football after a tragic accident and opened his own gym. As a teen he had a crush on Dani but felt he was way out of her league, and still does. If only he knew that cool confident Dani felt the same way.
The two end up teaming together to solve the murder. I enjoyed the chemistry between the them. I found myself laughing at the hilarious things they would say, like two awkward teens on a first date. I sometimes thought they pulled pieces of the puzzle together a little too quickly, but overall the storyline was genuinely believable and kept me engrossed.
Strange dreams, biblical references, supernatural occurrences and this overwhelming sense of evil made the story spooky and an ideal fall read. The ending set the stage perfectly for book two of this trilogy and I found myself searching for clues to its release.
A special thank you to netGalley and publisher Thomas Nelson for this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review. This book will be published Oct 4, 2011.
I give the book 4 coffee cups out of 5.