Requested Review: Dead Again – Tracy Cooper-Posey

A small plane crashes in the Rockies, and the only two survivors, Jack and Sophie, help each other live until rescue arrives, seven days later. Only Sophie goes on to pick up the pieces of her life, which has now been irrevocably changed by big, gentle Jack’s love…and death.

But Sophie learns that Jack’s death didn’t close that chapter of her life, after all.
A drifter called Martin holds the key to her heart, alongside a deadly secret. Combined with a corrupt and desperate police chief and her pressure-cooker life as a single mother in a small town, they plunge her head-deep into the after-shocks caused by those seven days in the mountains. The consequences will reach out to rock state governors, district attorneys, and one of the deadliest crime lords in the land, and all of them have reason to react. For Sophie, life is about to change again…for the worse.

After a terrible plane crash Jack and Sophie are the sole survivors. They spend five days on a mountain ledge before they are saved. Jack is in a critical state due to a head injury and Sophie has a severe fracture. When Sophie finally learns about Jack who is staying in the same hospital, it’s only to hear that he didn’t survive surgery. Then fast forward to 8 years later. Sophie is not a lawyer anymore, has been married, has had 2 children and is running a diner/café. One day she sees this stranger walk into the bar across the street and is surprisingly drawn to him. The stranger, Martin Stride, turns out to be Jack, raised from the dead. The reason he let her believe he was dead is that there are people after him and everyone around him is in danger. While they sort out the feelings that were born on that mountain ledge 8 years ago, the danger is closing in on Jack and Sophie. Will they find out in time who is running the show and who wants Jack dead?

Jack Laubreaux is a former police officer. He is guilt-ridden, mysterious and stubborn. Sophie Kingston is a lawyer turned café-owner. She is pragmatic, fighter and determined. And this is about it as for what I can tell you about Jack and Sophie’s personalities. I didn’t really get to know them very well as I didn’t totally connect with them. To me it all stayed on the surface despite the many inner thoughts and flashbacks to their lives before the events in the book.

DEAD AGAIN starts at a very slow pace and with lots of background information on Sophie and Jack, given in thoughts and flashbacks. At a certain point in the beginning of the book I was wondering when the real suspense was going to start instead of just Jack’s thoughts and inner hints toward his mysterious life and the reason why the plane crashed. The first three chapters were full of descriptions (of the characters, the surroundings, the past) but after that the suspense started to build slowly and little by little the plot is revealed through small clues, mainly in the dialogues. Despite the descriptiveness in the writing style the book remained very mysterious. A lot is left untold and calls for speculation and wondering what exactly is going on. I realize this is the essence of a suspense (romantic or otherwise) book but I prefer to have a little more knowledge than the characters in the book.

There was an editing miss that bothered me enough to mention it. In the beginning of chapter 8 it says “ten years later” but along the chapter and the rest of the story both Sophie and Jack keep referring to their first encounter as 8 years ago. I try not to let small editing misses influence my overall opinion of books but thought this was a rather obvious thing that shouldn’t have been missed.

About half way the book it was as if something “clicked” into place and I began to get into the story much better than in the first half. However it was still slow-paced and I wasn’t completely feeling the romantic element of romantic suspense. It was definitely there in a subtle way with small hints and references but just not quite enough to my liking. It is often said that romantic suspense is a hard genre to write because the readers demand both thrilling suspense AND a good romance. For me if either one blows me away I’m pretty satisfied. Unfortunately neither the suspense nor the romance could really do that in this book. For me it felt like the things that needed to be told weren’t and those that weren’t necessary were told in an extensive way, which took the pace out of the book. It wasn’t until about ¾ into the book that the suspense thread really kicked off and Tracy Cooper-Posey delivered on the promise that was there in this book all along. She wrapped up the suspense in a fast-paced, thrilling conclusion that had me biting my nails and even gave me an emotional romantic ending that I was hoping for but wasn’t expecting.

In Tracy’s guest post on this blog last week, she talks about against type books, and DEAD AGAIN is most definitely that. For me it didn’t completely work but I have no doubt that lovers of against type romantic suspense will adore this book.

Quote:
She was here. Now. Real, live, warm. Not a faded memory dug up from his mind. And the man who called himself Martin feasted on the image, storing it with the single-mindedness of an addict.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10

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