BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Monday, July 20, 2015

Bea Reviews Shallow Graves by Christina Wolfer

Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press 
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: March 17, 2015
Challenges: Goodreads
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | ARe* | Smashwords*  | Publisher
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Blurb from goodreads:

Be Careful What Secrets You Dig Up

When a young girl’s body is discovered in a shallow grave on a farm outside of Ripley, Ohio, FBI Agent Kendal McNally returns to her estranged hometown to investigate. The similarities to another murder on the same farm seventeen years earlier is unnerving, not to mention the fact that she helped put her best friend’s father behind bars for the crime. Her search for the truth puts her in the middle of a serial killer’s graveyard.

Reed Harvey’s life was turned upside down when his father was convicted of murder. It didn’t help that Kendal had been the key witness in the trial or that she turned her back on him and their friendship. Now she has returned to investigate another murder, living in an apartment above his restaurant and making him remember what almost was.

Despite their pasts, Kendal and Reed turn to each other as Kendal’s investigation unravels a web of lies in a town where everyone thought they knew everyone’s business. And when another girl goes missing, Kendal will unearth a devastating secret that may put an end to the murders—except one. Hers.

Bea's Thoughts:

This came to my attention a few months ago and it immediately caught my eye. Romantic suspense, a small town, family drama, secrets, a second chance romance, how could I pass it up?

The story is fast paced and events happen quickly. More bodies turn up and a young girl goes missing, Kendal and Reed dance around each other, trying to put aside the past while working together and figuring out if they can hook up together. Both are damaged by the trial and conviction of Reed's father when they were teens. They have a hard time trusting each other and Kendal finds that few of the townspeople in her hometown trust her. Matters are complicated by the fact that the police chief is Kendal's estranged father.

Kendal is haunted by the case that sent Reed's father to jail and she became an FBI agent as a result. She's supposed to be a good agent but she's caught off guard more than once, and initially misses an important clue about the victims. She also gets so focused on one particular suspect that she's blind to others. I admit that for about half the book Wolfer had me worried that she was going to go with the easy, obvious suspect. But then she began to give us other viable suspects and I was no longer certain who the killer was. The current investigation has ties back to the case involving Reed's father and everything becomes topsy-turvy. At the same time that Kendal is dealing with the murders, she's finding out some major secrets about her family.

Although there's a lot going on, and it gets a bit soap opera-ish, the story kept me hooked. I was caught up in the investigation, Kendal's family drama, and the bumpy romance between Kendal and Reed. I did get seriously annoyed at Kendal and Reed's carelessness once they started having sex. There was no talk about pregnancy or if they were free of STD's nor did they use any protection. In this day and age, that's just stupid.

"Shallow Graves" was over the top at times, and Kendal wasn't quite the top-notch agent we were meant to believe she was and there were some moments of unbelievability but the story kept my interest and kept me reading. I was kept guessing as to who the killer was and why. It was a solid, enjoyable story.


  1. oh wow, this book sounds so dang good!! I love a good second chance romance.

    1. I enjoyed watching them get to re-know each other and trying to make it work.

  2. When I read the blurb, my first thought was, why would the FBI send an agent whose ties to the community - and to a very similar case there - might make her less than objective? I can see that they might send her with another agent, putting the other agent in charge, but her by herself? It seems a bit unlikely. (Then again, I cheerfully swallow unlikely things like ghosts or shapeshifters in other types of fiction...)

    Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed it and I'm tempted - but swamped enough that I will let the minor things dissuade me for now.

    1. Yes, that was another issue. It does come up, the author does address it which made me happy.

  3. The mention of a serial killer in the blurb caught my attention. Sounds like something worth checking out, even though there are some issues.

    1. I liked it well enough; it just could have been better.

  4. Maybe STD talk or ripping a foil will put a damper on the mood? Smh

    Oi but I love soap opera-ish plots. It might be corny for some but like you, I find it addictive.

    1. Well, the lack of said discussion and foil ripping sure put a damper on MY mood. :P I've heard that some editors will ask authors to remove such scenes, as they apparently belive it slows down the scene. I say, if it slows the scene down, the author needs to improve their craft.

  5. Good to see the author throw in some twists to keep you guessing Bea!

    Naomi @ Naomi’s Reading Palace

    1. Yeah, I like twists that keep me guessing. Some predictability is okay but too much is boring.


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