There’s always one case
The moment police Captain Colin McAllister sees her on TV he knows. She may call herself Nell Smith, but she is Maddie Dubeau – the girl who went missing from Angel Butte, Oregon, years ago. She’s haunted Colin, and now the adult version of her is so captivating, he can’t stay away. He wants to help her recover her memories – even solve her case – without crossing a professional line.
But distance becomes impossible when the threats against her escalate. It’s clear someone is determined that Nell never remembers what happened to Maddie. Colin must keep her safe so that he can finally bring her home to his home.
I am totally perplexed by the cover on this book. Obviously Harlequin wanted to put it out at Christmastime, but – cover aside – this book has nothing to do with Christmas. It’s a really, really, (really!) good book, but it is a murder mystery, not a fuzzy, cuddly Christmas book.
Janice Kay Johnson is one of my favourite Harlequin writers (in fact, she might be sitting at the top of my list at the moment), and this was one of my favourite reads by her. I don’t know what it is about her writing, but she stands head and shoulders above most contemporary romance writers – not just category romance writers.
This book starts off in the most interesting way. A teenage Maddie is badly injured and trapped in the boot of a car. She has no idea who she is.
Fast forward more than a decade, and Colin, the man who was first on the scene when she disappears, recognises her on the television. However, when he confronts her, she’s terrified. She still doesn’t know what happened to her back then, but Maddie (now called Nell) just knows it’s too dangerous to go home.
The story that unfolds is part mystery, part suspense and part romance. I like how the author captures small town life without making it at all twee. I also like how modern her characters are.
This is an absolute favourite book from a favourite author. Highly recommended. It’s the start of a new series, and I really enjoyed the second book (due out in early 2014), too.