Title: All the Beautiful Brides
A young woman lies dead at the bottom of a waterfall, dressed in a wedding gown with a rose stem jammed down her throat. And in the small town of Graveyard Falls, the horrifying vision stirs a long-ago nightmare back to life…
FBI Special Agent Cal Coulter gets called in to investigate the murder, which bears a terrifying resemblance to a series of killings committed thirty years ago: three teenage girls were found dead at the waterfall’s base, all bearing rose stems in their throats. But the high school football star was convicted and imprisoned for those murders, leading Cal to suspect that the killer is still out there.
Now, the body count is rising again. The monster’s sights are set on counselor Mona Monroe, Cal’s best friend’s widow…and the woman he’s always loved. Can Cal stop the killer before Mona becomes the next victim?
Author: Rita Herron
Series: Graveyard Falls #1
Published by Montlake Romance Source: Publisher
Published: September 15, 2015
Genres: Crime Drama, Romantic Suspense
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
All you fans of the crime drama polish up your glasses, grab a whiskey, kick back and enjoy a good one. This ranks up there with Criminal Minds with ritualistic murders reminiscent of a previous case. Maybe Castle with the cop and the civilian working together to solve a case. It is a glorious who-dun-it that keeps one guessing right up until the end.
The cop – FBI Special Agent Cal Coulter. His best friend and partner died in a car crash a few months earlier. So now he pretty much works alone, calling the lab and/or techs as needed to solve the case.
The civilian – Mona Monroe, psychologist. Also, Cal’s former partner’s wife and new widow. Mona has helped the FBI with some profile work before, but things became estranged when Cal’s best friend asked Mona out first, then married her. Interesting triangle here.
Then there is the murders. Thirty years ago there was series of murders of the local prom court. The alleged murdered was caught and is still in jail. Now, thirty years later, someone is murdering women again in much the same way. Is there a copycat? Or did they get the wrong guy thirty years ago?
This story moved along well. Characters were developed quite well as needed. Clues were meted out judiciously. Just when you think you know who-dun-it, something happens to throw you off again. I believe I counted at least four or five viable suspects before being totally surprised. A very well done murder mystery.
As for the romance. It bordered on a second chance trope. See above reference to “interesting triangle.” There were some fascinating dynamics between Cal and Mona, not to mention past personal history for both that needed to be resolved before a happy ever after could be found.
I enjoyed this book thoroughly. Lots of suspense and action happening, with just enough romance to remind me I was reading a romantic suspense. The ending was very satisfactory. However, there was a couple characters I could see getting their own stories. I definitely look forward to reading a next book.