Book Review: Virtue Falls by Christina Dodd

Book Review: Virtue Falls by Christina DoddVirtue Falls by Christina Dodd
Series: Virtue Falls, #1
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on June 30, 2015
Genres: Romance, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Pages: 524

Twenty-three years ago, in the isolated coastal town of Virtue Falls, Washington, four-year-old Elizabeth Banner witnessed her mother's brutal murder. Elizabeth's father was convicted of killing Misty and sentenced to prison. Elizabeth grew from a solitary child to a beautiful woman with a cool scientific mind and an instinctive distrust of love.

Now Elizabeth is back in Virtue Falls, a geologist like her father, her life guided by logic and facts. But nothing can help her through the emotional chaos that follows the return of her ex-husband, Garik Jacobsen, an FBI agent on probation and tortured by the guilt of his past deeds. Nor can it help her deal with her father, now stricken with Alzheimer's and haunted by Misty's ghost. When a massive earthquake reveals long-concealed secrets, Elizabeth soon discovers her father is innocent.

Is the killer still at large, stalking ever closer to the one witness to Misty's murder? To Elizabeth herself? Elizabeth and Garik investigate, stirring old dark and deadly resentments that could provoke another bloody murder-- Elizabeth's own.

My Review:

I received this in a GR giveaway so I’d like to take this time to thank whomever is responsible… Thanks.

When I entered the giveaway I did so under that impression that this was a mystery. I received the book (I usually don’t read the blurb on the back cover when book is in hand) and nothing changed until I was about to read it and read somewhere (here) that this was being shelved as a romance. Hmmm. Not like me to enter a romance giveaway unless it’s wrapped in Christian (usually) fiction – but I figured if the blurb on the giveaway caught my eye, then it must be good.

So I’m reading this ‘romance’ and it’s tame and looking more and more like a mystery but not a ham-fisted or heavy I’m-in-your-grill-and-going-to-make-you-love-me mystery; this was more like a walking-in-the-park-looking-like-you’re-playing-Pokemon-Go mystery.

Then more than 2/3 of the way in (I know that exact page but I don’t want to contaminate anyone’s reading of this) something within me changed. I started to get knots in my stomach that I wasn’t getting before. The story took on a desperate tone and started developing into the thriller that it always wanted to be when it grew up. Man this author can write.

I absolutely love Elizabeth. I’m talking full-blown roses are red, standing outside her window with a boom box and getting matching tattoos LOVE. She reminds me of a character on the cancelled television series, The Bridge, that had undiagnosed Asperger’s syndrome or a similar autism spectrum disorder and a little of me. I get so focused sometimes that all social graces are abandoned. This had led to getting hit by grocery carts in the supermarket because I. Must. Get. Catsup. And literally barreling into older people when crossing the aisle. I undress digress. I also loved her relationship with Garik.

The only issue I had with Garik is that on a couple of occasions he became heated when someone invaded Elizabeth’s personal space but I felt he didn’t handle the situations correctly. Well, that’s not totally true. One of them, he handled better than I could because it was civil and and ended up causing more pain in the end. On the other occasions that I recall, there was a blatant threat made and he just stood there.

Not happening on my watch. I am no Joe Ledger or Mike Banning (Olympus has Fallen) but if someone threatened a loved one, they would feel my presence. As much as I felt Garik loved her, I expected more. Still didn’t change how much I enjoyed this.

I unequivocally recommend this story.

Thanks for the giveaway.



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