Tuesday, March 15, 2016

REVIEW - Red Red Rose - Stephanie Hoffman McManus

TITLE - Red Red Rose
AUTHOR - Stephanie Hoffman McManus


As the Pacific Northwest is rocked by a string of brutal murders, Nora Scott is caught up in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. The body count is rising and Nora fears the next victim has already been taken. It's been two weeks since anyone has heard from her best friend, and despite the profile that doesn't match, Nora refuses to believe Emily's disappearance is a coincidence. While authorities try to reassure the community of Bellingham, Washington that the killer isn't hunting in their town, the killer begins leaving clues behind for Nora that prove her best friend is right in the middle of it all. Will Emily be the key to finding the killer before it's too late, or will he end the game and take the prize he really wants? Who can Nora trust when everyone is a suspect, including the guy she fears she may be falling for?

My Review:

Red Red Rose is the first murder, mystery, thriller, McManus has wrote. If you're a fan of her previous books then you will not be let down with this one. 
I am a firm believer that not every author can write a good mystery, but McManus has proven that she can and will do again. 

Every time I thought I had a handle on who the killer was, she managed to make me second guess my theory. I never saw the ending coming. Red Red Rose is the happy balance between romance and mystery. It's one you don’t read, if you don’t have time to finish in one sitting. Otherwise you won't be able to focus on anything else.

Nora never had an easy, carefree childhood. So much so that she's basically blocked it out, but that's okay. She lives a happy life now. Nora owns a business with her best friend Emily, she's single with prospects. That all changes though when her best friend goes missing. Emily doesn't match the same profile as the other missing/dead girls, but Nora knows that the same man took her friend.

Who is our friendly serial killer? 
What is his obsession with women who have red hair? 
Is it someone close to Nora or someone new? 
What about the new guy Shaw, could it be him? Or is her gut right in making her believe he's safe?

Spencer Shaw is a ghost. He's ex-military and moonlights as a contractor. This time he's been hired by an old friend to help find the man's daughter, Emily. He has to be objective and look at everyone in Emily's life as the perpetrator. Starting with Nora, only he finds out more than he could imagine where Nora is involved. He soon finds out that she is his perfect match in every way. 
Only questions remain, is Emily alive? Who is killing all these women?

The secondary characters of this book are pretty awesome. I felt like Nora and Emily's parents all had legitimate reactions where the girls were involved. Hope for Emily, fear for Nora staying at the girl's house by herself. 
James, Emily’s brother comes home on emergency leave from the military. He straight up invades Nora’s life and keeps pressure on the cops to keep looking for Emily. There is a little sexual tension between Nora and James, always has been, but will they act on it? 
Then there is Shaw and Nora. He's dark where she's light, the perfect ying for his yang. Only question is will she choose James who's safe, or Shaw who speaks to her on another level? You’ll just have to read to find out.

Here are a couple good quotes from Red Red Rose;

“Criminal Minds was on. Who needed any other man when you had Derek Morgan?”

“I felt like some kind of stalker, standing outside her room, listening to their conversation. I couldn’t help it. After everything that had happened over the past week, I was having a hard time letting her out of my sight.”

“I’d beaten fear with everything I’ve had to face in my life, but losing you terrifies the shit out of me.”

Star Ratings:

Plot- 4/5
Heat- 3.5/5
Characters- 4/5
Writing style- 4/5
Overall- 4/5


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