Mojca's Reviews > One Scream Away

One Scream Away by Kate Brady
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's review
Jul 04, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: suspense-mystery-adventure-thriller, kate-brady, favorites, bodyguard-military-merc-gov-cop-spy
Recommended for: lovers of chilling suspense
Read in July, 2009 , read count: 1

This was one heck of a book. It had everything I look for in a thriller.

Beth Denison's world falls apart (again). Chevy Bankes, the man who "let her get away" seven years ago is out of prison and is holding a grudge. Starting in Seattle, he's killing women, sending Beth dolls as testimony of his crimes. Moving closer to her with each kill.

Neil Sheridan, former FBI, is called on board when the Seattle murder rings enough bells to be similar to a case Neil'd been working on nine years prior. He'd shot the murderer then, but with each case more and more doubts arise. Did he get the wrong man?

Beth Denison seems to hold the main clue. Unfortunately, the woman won't cooperate and it's up to Neil to make her see the light. As Chevy slowly draws near, Beth and Neil have to work together, revealing dark secrets and painful pasts in hope of catching him.

Okay, so the summary sucks, but the book was wonderful. The suspense held from start to finish, slowly turning this romantic suspense novel into a true thriller.

The killer's identity is known from the first page, but that sure doesn't kill the suspense. Because with Chevy Banks the author created a wonderfully rounded character, twisted and creepy, yes, but also incredibly intelligent and resourceful, with a terrible childhood experience that shaped him into the strapping guy (notice the sarcasm) he is today. At times the reader finds it hard not to feel compassion toward him, which makes it for an even more exciting ride.

The other two leading characters (yes, you could call this one a threesome with the villain sharing equal on-screen time as the two leads) are greatly developped as well. Beth with her inner-strength, fueled by fear for her daughter, fear for her secret to be exposed, and bitter anger for what happened seven years ago, is wonderful. Though she may appear inconsistent at times, going from being strong, tough-as-nails, not needing anyone to a clingy, cowering mess of a woman, it still is consistent with what happened to her and the profile of abuse she's been through. She truly was a remarkable character.

Neil Sheridan is definitely on my top-heroes list. Scarred in and out, jaded and with his fuck-the-world attitude he seemed quite unlikely to slay Beth's dragons at first with all his doubts as to what side she was on. But as soon as she opened up, bam, he slapped his figurative armor on, pulled his figurative steed out of the figurative stable, and he was on a roll.
I loved the fact Ms. Brady didn't make him your regular knight in shining armor, the first time we meet him he's dead-drunk, fondling a woman who's name he doesn't know. Oh, he's a gem all right. But thanks to his friend and his deep-buried honor to see things through, to avenge the girl (first murdered girl) he presumably failed, he bounces back and shows us why he'd been the best in the Bureau.
And when he finally reveals his secret, the hints of which are sprinkled throughout the story, it's utterly heartbreaking and it justifies everything he's said or done and explains his dogged determination to do his damnedest to protect Beth and her daughter, Abby.
There was a line, something his former colleague said to him, in the book that pretty much summed it all up. Nine years ago the Bureau lost one of its best agents, but now, after all is finished, after all the demons (Neil's and Beth's) are slain, the Bureau might get its agent back. The author wrote in much better, though.

The romance was wonderfully subtle. Just a few heated kisses, bare hints to anything more, yet utterly "in character", consistent with the two characters. Anything more and the whole thing would go to posh. Kudos to the author for knowing how to maintain that fragile balance. Really masterfully executed.

What I loved most, though, was the sick little mouse-and-cat game between Chevy and the good guys. He was always a step ahead of everyone, almost as if he read their minds, knew what they'd do and anticipate them all. It was twisted, but it was marvelous to read, trying to guess what he'd do next, what plan he's devised. And to finally learn just who the heck "Jenny" was. We did, and let me tell you, I didn't see that one coming.

This was truly a wonderful debut novel. Major kudos to Kate Brady for thinking of this story and managing to keep it all in line. The characters were wonderful, the plot nicely-flowing, the suspense great...What more could you want. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

P.S. I can't wait for the next one.
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Reading Progress

07/09/2009 page 26
7.47% "There’s more suspense in the first two chapters than in Catherine Mann’s ON TARGET all 21 chapters combined."
07/10/2009 page 202
58.05% "It's dragging a bit at the moment, but I can't wait to see how and when they catch the twisted stalker/killer. He's creepy. And nuts."

Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Shawna Great review, it sounds like a great suspense thriller!

Mojca It was amazing. Went straight among the keepers.

message 3: by Dina (new) - added it

Dina Great review, Alathea! The "just a few heated kisses" comment turned me off a little, so I'll take a rain check on adding it to my TBR for now.

Mojca If it'd been more it wouldn't have worked, Dina.
Honestly, I didn't go into this because of the romance, so I wasn't expecting much. If you don't expect much, you can't be disappointed. ;) And I so wasn't disappointed.

It was great to get to know these two characters and it was wonderful watching them slowly start to trust each other...And yes, slowly fall in love with each other. The whole story was so engaging and the suspense top-notch, the amping up the romance, in my opinion, would've slowed things down.

message 5: by Dina (new) - added it

Dina Alathea wrote: "If it'd been more it wouldn't have worked, Dina.
Honestly, I didn't go into this because of the romance, so I wasn't expecting much. If you don't expect much, you can't be disappointed. ;) And I so..."

Hmm, that could work... I don't read romance books exclusively and I do like mystery/thriller novels, so maybe I should read this book as "pure thriller" and enjoy it.

message 6: by Auntee (new) - added it

Auntee Great review--sounds like something Karen Rose would cook up!

message 7: by Holly (new) - added it

Holly This book sounds really good. Thanks for the review.

message 8: by BJ Rose (new)

BJ Rose Auntee wrote: "Great review--sounds like something Karen Rose would cook up!"

Or Kay Hooper!

message 9: by BJ Rose (new)

BJ Rose Dina wrote: "Alathea wrote: "If it'd been more it wouldn't have worked, Dina.
Honestly, I didn't go into this because of the romance..."

I feel the same way about thrillers - a touch of romance is good, even serious romance, but when they stop for some hot mindless sex while they're running for their lives, I stop believing in the danger, and then the thrill is gone out of thriller.

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