Friday, December 20, 2013

In Broad Daylight by Seth Harwood

Release Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

After being quiet for nearly five years, a killer is once again hunting victims during Alaska's summer. It's a time when midnight looks like one in the afternoon, giving the killer plenty of time to do his work. But this time, he's looking to do a whole lot more than increase the body count.

FBI agent Jess Harding worked the case in Alaska when it was first discovered. When the case became too dangerous, she was taken off the case and sent to San Francisco where she honed her skills and intuition. Now called back to Alaska, Jess must put all her skills to use in order to catch this killer before it's too late. Will she discover the answers in time? Can she keep the case from overwhelming her once again?

I do love crime thrillers so entering a Goodreads giveaway for this book was a no-brainer for me. I was very pleased to receive a copy. To be honest I was a little surprised that a male author was writing in the first person perspective of a female agent. After a slow start, the surprise wore off, the action ramped up and I was completely immersed into the story. Part of me was glad that the chapters were to-the-point kind of chapters because I'd have to make myself stop at the end of a chapter. If I didn't, I would have read through the night.

The novel begins with the main character, Jess, being summoned to Alaska to help with an old, familiar case that she worked on as a rookie field agent. Right from the start, Jess is out to prove that she's no longer the green, wet-behind-the-ears new kid and that her instincts about the person behind the gruesome killings are valuable despite the rumblings from the "old boys" club. Because the book is set in the present time period, it seemed as though everything could really be happening. For me, it all added up to the story feeling very real and that's a scary thought when it comes to serial killers.

As realistic as I found the characters and their reactions to situations to be, the locations within the book played a big role in the storyline as well. The culture, customs and traditions of the inhabitants in various areas of Alaska both helped and hindered the investigation. The same case could be made for the events that happened within San Fransisco as well. The author presents vivid descriptions of the surrounding areas that the reader can nearly feel the cold of the Alaskan wilderness or hear the bustle of a San Fransiscan street.

There is a slow build to the action but once the ball gets rolling, there is no stopping. The reader is fed the clues at the same pace in which Jess finds them, so we're following her instincts in real time. Her realizations and frustrations become ours, adding to the tension building within the story. Only one thing frustrated me out of the entire book and that is whatever Jess is hiding about her connection with the killer. The door is left open for the author to explore (and I hope he does) and definitely leaves the reader wanting more.

Overall, this book was an excellent and exciting way to spend a few evenings. Most times I didn't want to put the book down. If I had been able, I would have devoured this book in one sitting as the action takes the story along a decently steady pace. There are plenty of twists and turns one would expect from the thriller genre but the story has its own flavor with its strong, resilient heroine in Jess Harding. If you're looking for a book full of action, adventure and travels all while battling a strange, demented serial killer, then this is the book for you.

In Broad Daylight by Seth Harwood is available in either paperback or Kindle forms at many online retailers. By clicking the link below, you can pick up a copy from Amazon.
In Broad Daylight by Seth Harwood

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