Publisher: Carina Press
FTC Disclaimer: Book received from author for review
Marine biologist Susie Cooper traded her life in America for a dream job on the rugged Scottish coast. Now all she lacks is the right man to start a family with. After their first meeting, she knows sexy Detective Inspector Nick Archer isn't what she's looking for. He's the type of guy whose idea of commitment is staying the whole night.
Nick has returned to St. Andrews for one reason only—to fulfill his vow to find his wife's killer. Relentless in his twelve-year quest for justice, he has no problem using Susie to get close to his primary suspect: her boss. But the passion between them smolders, and as it ignites, Nick finds himself torn between his past and his present—with Susie.
When one of her boss's students is murdered, Nick's investigation draws Susie into a web of madness and betrayal. They will have to learn to trust each other if they're going to catch a killer...and come out of this alive.
Sea of Suspicion is definitely different from anything else I've read in the romance or romantic suspense genres lately. It has a distinctly British flair--just filled with idioms that scream 'from the UK'. And while the British slang occasionally threw me out of the narrative, it also helped cement the believability of our hero, Nick Archer, a Detective Inspector working in the area of the Gatty--a world renown research facility in Scotland.
I found the mystery aspects compelling and enjoyed all of the characters. But at times, it seemed as if the story was overwhelmed with marine biology and research details that bordered on info dumping. There's no doubt that the author knows her stuff, and that someone with a Ph.d (our heroine) would think in technical terms while dealing with her job, but the Susie's thoughts seemed a bit too clinical for a romance novel. Almost as if she were composing a journal article or giving a lecture than thinking to herself.
The primary mystery surrounding the deaths of Archer's wife and the most recent death of a research assistant were very well done, compelling and suspenseful. Too often, I figure out who did what halfway through the novel, but this one kept me guessing.
The dialogue between Nick and Susie is snappy and often funny.
"One of these days you're going to admit you're attracted--"Susie's focus on permanence seemed a bit odd to me. I know many women in science professions are forced to postpone having a family until their careers are established, but it seemed weird to have Susie so focused on "a relationship, a future, and a family" at the very beginning of exploring her attraction to Nick.
"When hell freezes over."
"Temperature is dropping. The devil's wearing thermals."
I really enjoyed how unique and refreshing this book was. I'm a big fan of BBC mysteries, but can't recall watching one set in modern day Scotland. And I know I've never read a suspense novel set there.
I would recommend this book for fans of mysteries or suspense novels with romantic elements. The Scottish setting and British language set this book apart from others of its kind.
My Grade: B-
Sea of Suspicion is available in ebook format only and can be purchased directly through Carina, at BN.com, and other ebook retailers.