Sloane Monroe Series Boxed Set by Cheryl Bradshaw
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
BLACK DIAMOND DEATH
In this first book, we're introduced to the talented, independent and kick ass Sloane Monroe, as she searches for the truth behind the assumed accidental death of Charlotte Halliwell. But what is the truth and how does it all work together as one?
This story moves at a fairly good pace, allowing the reader to get sucked into the world of Sloane Monroe. Unlike the other female leads out there, Sloane isn't prone to accidents or stumbling along the mystery. Instead, we have a woman who knows how to solve a crime and sets out to do just that. She works hard to make sure that what she does is seeking truth and justice... If she steps on a few toes along the way, she's all right doing that.
We get what feels like sneak peeks into her personal life, knowing there's a mystery to be found there as well. Her friends, lovers, adversaries and clients all weave around her, helping and hindering at every step.
The answer isn't blaringly obvious and while you see all the clues, the answer doesn't appear early on, but rather you discover it along with Sloane.
Secrets of Sloane's past are finally revealed, as we discover what happened to her sister Gabrielle. Haunted by her own demons, can she solve the one case that's plagued her for three years now, or will or will Sinnerman win in the end.
Book 1 managed to ease you into the story, before taking off like a shot. Book two simple tosses you, along with Sloane, into the fray. While I greatly enjoyed the chance to see deeper into Sloane's life, elements of it felt off at times. Her relationship took a turn between book 1 and 2, and as the reader that seemed to come out of nowhere, as if we were missing something.
That however is only a small element of the story at large, which delves into the mind of a serial killer in a well-researched way, without dragging the reader into a place too dark. In this case, we know who the killer is and the mystery isn't so much discovering him as it is watching Sloane learn the truth.
I HAVE A SECRET
The little we've learned about Sloane's part pales as we return with her to the place of her birth. Take a trip into the past with her as she searches for the truth, battles demons from the past and releases the truth from its shallow grave.
For book three, we leave the safe home of Park City, Utah, and head out to Tehachapi, California. Seeking out the whole story behind an old friend's murder, the reader is pulled into a small town world, where one family has long held a grip on the truth.
For the reader, we have a chance to see Sloane broken down at times, but also able to see how much stronger she has become. Her relationship is both strong and confusing to both the reader, as well as Sloane herself. At times, the secrets behind Giovanni seem forced, leaving us unsure of him, while at the same time sure he's one of the only ones trustworthy.
I thoroughly enjoyed the books and hope that there is more to come. I would love to delve deeper into Giovanni and see how Sloane fares in that trial. My hope is to see the strong and independent PI be finally happy in her life, content with where and who she is.
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