Heart Breaker – Shannon Curtis
Copyright © Shannon Curtis 2017
Reviewer: Lesley Vick
Harmony Talbot’s world is destroyed when she arrives home and discovers her cousin’s dead body, left with a single white rose as the killer’s calling card. Lightning should not strike twice, but his is the second unsolved murder in Harmony’s family. Harmony is determined that this time there will be justice, even if she has to track down the culprit herself.
Homicide detective Bern Knight is good at catching criminals. Though meaningful, his work leaves little time for relationships, and the last thing he needs is a beautiful, bumbling amateur sleuth getting herself into trouble. Whoever committed this crime is no ordinary murderer; he’s a ghost, leaving behind no evidence until more bodies with the same sadistic markers start turning up.
As a digital forensic investigator, Harmony has a special set of skills that she’s fully prepared to use, no matter how much the stern detective is against her interference. Tracking the killer is no easy feat, but Harmony lures him out of hiding. Except now she is the one in the killer’s crosshairs.
Review by Lesley Vick
Shannon Curtis writes in a number of genres and this novel is in the romantic suspense category. It is right up to date with cyber space issues and the protagonist, Harmony, is as skilled in digital forensics as the serial killer is at deleting any trace of himself online.
IT novices will have no difficulty following the story as the technical aspects are clearly explained. The fast pace of the book keeps the reader engaged with both solving the murders and the developing attraction between Harmony and homicide detective Bern Knight. The resolution of these developments is hampered by the fact that Harmony is doing her own illegal cyber sleuthing – activity that she conceals from Bern who would clearly disapprove – and Bern’s determination to avoid any committed entanglement in his personal life.
The police investigation and Harmony’s own activities gradually reveal clues but Harmony’s decision not to tell the police (particularly Bern) what she is doing means she exposes herself to life-threatening danger. The unsolved murder of Harmony’s father fourteen years before is another factor driving her to find some justice for her family now that her much-loved cousin Leona has also been brutally killed. Bern for his part is struggling with his growing attraction to Harmony and his suspicion that Harmony is ‘doing her own thing’ illegally as anonymous (and very helpful) information about the case is gradually made available to the police.
Heart Breaker is engrossing to the end and readers who like a bit of sensual romance with their crime will enjoy it greatly. There will be more to look forward to as this book is part of the Knight family series which concern the determined and close-knit Knight siblings, all of whom we meet in this novel. The Knight family motto is defend, protect and make the bad guys weep.