Nia Hollister doesn’t scare easily. She’s returned to Ash, Kentucky, with a vengeance—and with a find the killer who brutally ended her cousin’s life. What she didn’t count on was trembling with desire every time she sees Law Reilly. If any man can help her escape the nightmares for a while, it’s him. But can she allow herself to take comfort in those strong arms when her sister’s killer still roams free?
She may think she’s a bad ass, but she should not have come back to his town. He is watching her—as she slips into Law Reilly’s house, as she storms into the sheriff’s office. These men won’t be able to protect her when her time comes. Timing is everything, though he can’t wait forever. She’s nosing around the woods, looking for his hiding place. Yes, he is watching her . . . through the window . . . in her bed . . .
If she’s not scared, she should be . . . because he is very good at what he does.
And an experimental me that I put to sleep. J. Dallas
Shiloh Walker has been writing since she was a kid. She fell in love with vampires with the book Bunnicula and has worked her way up to the more...ah...serious vampire stories. She loves reading and writing anything paranormal, anything fantasy, and nearly every kind of romance. Once upon a time she worked as a nurse, but now she writes full time and lives with her family in the Midwest.
Always listen to your instincts. I had a hunch about the killer in book one, If You Hear Her, and thought Puck confirmed it for me with his whimpering/growling around a certain character. Then so much happened in the second book, If You See Her, that I became confused and second-guessed myself, but my original deduction was right.
The romance between Law and Nia felt a bit rushed and wasn’t quite as convincing as the other couples of the trilogy (Lena and Ezra and Hope and Remy), but they were definitely smokin’ hot together. With steamy sex scenes and creepy suspense, If You Know Her is a satisfying ending to the series.
Story Rating 4 stars Character Rating 4 stars Romance Rating 4 stars Heat Level 3.5 stars Overall Rating 4 stars
This book raps up the 3 book series very nicely. I really liked this whole series. I believe out of the three book's that book one If You Hear Her was my favorite, my reason's behind this is that in book 1 the killer was on the move doing his evil the most. Needless to say you must read all 3 book's if you want to find out who the killer is and how they catch him. I did have a feeling who the killer might be in book 2 and I was right. Not that it was a give away, I just had a feeling. I most also say that the killer ended up doing some VERY wicked things with the woman he killed.
Shiloh brought on the heat in this book right from the start. The H&h barley knew each other so that might bother some readers.
The “Ash Trilogy” captivated and claimed my full attention from the opening scene in the first book until the very end of the final book. Each entry was solid and strong. I would highly recommended that you read all three books in the order written; otherwise you might encounter difficulties in understanding the entirety of the case. Besides that, this series is just too good to miss a single word.
By the beginning of the second book, I had picked my killer -- or at least I thought so. I was never completely convinced until the identity was revealed with clarity. The author did a fabulous job of burying clues throughout the series yet hiding this killer in plain sight. This raises the level of respect for the author’s talent in keeping readers holding their breath and on the edge of their seats until all unfolds.
Although there was plenty of heat, Law and Nia weren’t a perfect match up for me. I truly felt something was missing in their relationship and that it was the weakest of the three couples. I fell for Law in the first book, chose him as my favorite hero, resulting in a little disappointment when his HEA fell short for me. Even so, there's plenty of lust, suspense, steamy sexual encounters, well-written romance, and off-the-chart tension throughout this trilogy to keep readers highly entranced.
Overall, the “Ash Trilogy” was amazing and completely addictive. All the characters were woven into the storylines with good balance. Intriguing characterizations caught the reader’s attention and kept the interest at a high level. A solid finish to the series and a job well done for Ms. Walker in keeping readers guessing “who-dunnit” through all three books! This series is a must read for anyone who likes a thrilling mystery, suspense and sizzling romances. This one certainly meets the criteria.
That being said, for such a well-written and well-crafted romantic suspense, there were several unanswered questions that gave the book an abrupt ending and unfinished feeling. For example, what happened to Roz? Did Remy’s troubled nephew receive the help he needed so he could return home to a better relationship with his father and move into adulthood normally? What was that“unknown” illness that plagued Lena? And a little peek at life after murder and mayhem for our happy couples is always a welcomed extra delight for readers in my opinion. For this reader, a nice epilogue wrapping up these loose ends could have pushed this series into a “perfect” category resulting in a five-star review.
The time has finally come to reveal who the killer is! You can expect If You Know Her to be a nail-biting, edge-of-seat and very sexy read!
This series has a great cast of characters. I can't say there's one that I didn't like, but Nia and Law are MY FAVORITE! They're perfect for each other.
I've liked Law since book one, he's the perfect friend and support for every female in this series. While during book one he was in love with Lena, he was also the best friend she had and the one person she relied on for everything. During book two we see that he's been such a rock for Hope, helping her get out of a bad relationship and giving her the opportunity to start over. So I couldn't help but want to see him finally be happy, with a girl that wanted him. And that was Nia Hollister.
I like that she's not a girly girl, she's very strong and independent and a bit of a badass. I mean she rides a bike, wears leather and has a gun! My kind of girl. I thought from their first meeting in book two that they were explosive together and I can say they didn't disappoint me! At all!
Now onto the suspense. This series has a great storyline and it's full of suspense. This book was excellent, even got me a bit scared to keep reading at times! I started off with a suspect in mind (having gone through a long list of possibilities throughout the series) and I was shocked (and not) when the killer is finally revealed.
I will only say this. Trust your first instincts people! The killer is the person I thought and had as prime suspect in my head at the end of book one. And then I completely forgot about that. Sick, demented, totally unstable. When the backstory got revealed I was shocked at the depth the issues the killer had went.
An amazing ending to the series and job well done for Ms. Walker! This series is a must read for anyone who likes a mystery, suspense and plenty of sexy with all that.
Law is a writer who likes to keep that part of his life private, even though the town people like to speculate about his source of wealth. In the last two books he has seen his friend and the woman he loved Lena fall for Ezra, been beaten and suspected of murder. With the events of the last book everyone thinks the killer has been caught, Jolene's murderer dead but Nia her cousin doesn't believe it. She is a photojournalist and is still investigating and finds a clue and comes back to town.
Law was attracted to Nia from the start even if she pulled a gun on him at their first meet. I liked the romance, like other in the books it was fast. Hope gets engaged and Ezra married and becomes the Sheriff. I had kind of figured the killer out, all in all a very enjoyable trilogy with too abrupt an ending. I would have liked an epilogue or something.
Holy Moly what a great ending to this series, Nia wasn’t my favorite character.
Don’t get me wrong I liked her with Law. But I wasn’t a fan of her thinking she was the be all, to end all. That’s why you trust a cop you like.. Like Ezra and you don’t go running in half cocked. Drives me nuts when people think they know better.
As you can imagine we learn who the killer is. And I have to say OOOOHHHH yeah.. I mean I had a suspicion of who I thought since about the middle of last book and I am so happy I was right.
It was a fantastic series. Each book is about 3 different couples, and a killer in there town and the characters all become involved in some way.
Fantastic tensions and the narrator does a great job with each character and bringing them their own voices.
*You don't have to like my review but its 100% my opinion, and I am allowed to have it.*
If You Know Her, the 3rd book in the Ash Trilogy by Shiloh Walker is the conclusion to a series that started out explosively good. It was the need to know the identity of the killer that Shiloh had hidden so well in plain sight that made me come back for more every time. Shiloh Walker is an author who manages to disturb my slumber. This time it was a nightmare that I read the final book in the trilogy and STILL couldn’t figure out who the killer was which had me jerking back to wakefulness.
Nia Hollister is having a tough time out of accepting the brutal death of her cousin Jolene Hollister. Though the killer had been caught or rather had been killed, tying up everything in a neat little package, Nia doesn’t get the closure that she so craves. A photojournalist by profession, Nia had been away on an assignment when her cousin had first gone missing. The sheer amount of rage that unfurls inside of Nia upon seeing the bruised and battered body of the one person who had been like a sister to her leaves her reeling and at the same time gives her that determination to dig deeper, to find out whether Jolene’s killer had well and truly being caught.
34 year old Edward Lawson Reilly (Law) lives in the small town of Ash in Kentucky. Law is a writer by profession and has that brooding thing down to a fine art. 5 months or so later to the day that Nia Hollister had practically exploded into his life, Law encounters her once again, this time seemingly with her mind set on staying. Law knows deep inside that with that unrelenting glint in her eyes, Nia could stir up a shitload of trouble but that doesn’t stop him from craving for her with every breathe he takes.
What Nia does with her pricking and prodding is to stir up a killer who is more than happy to lay dormant for a while until the dust settles. But as it is usual with methodical serial killers, he too makes his fair share of mistakes and that is how eventually Nia ends up being the one who is able to unravel him, the one who is able to once again set on fire that burning need to hurt, kill and do a hell lot more, only if Nia were the type of person who would not cause a fuss if she went missing from the scene.
For me, it was the killer that Shiloh brought to life in book one that made this whole series. He was scary enough to give me the shivers every single time he came into the picture and my mind was frantically trying to piece together all the evidence to find out who it is that could be the killer. As most readers who have reviewed this already have stated that they had their fair share of suspicion on who could be the killer, I too had them but then Shiloh managed to throw us all off a bit with book 2 in which we didn’t get to see much from the guy.
Nia Hollister is a force to be reckoned with. She is totally bad-ass, drives a Harley and lives from one assignment to the next. But with Law in the picture, Nia starts picturing a life that could mean settling down a bit and dreams of that elusive thing called a happily-ever-after that few people ever seem to find in real life.
Law is the type of hero that you envision in your mind with that five o’clock shadow darkening his jawline, a pensive faraway look hiding what he thinks and eyes that could drive a woman nuts because when he does focus on you, it would take a mighty force of the nature to pull your gaze away from his. As all the heroes we met through the trilogy, Law too is protectiveness personified. Even when Nia gives him a lot of trouble, Law sticks adamantly to his schedule of keeping his woman safe, even if it means that he is the one who has to carry the nightmares to bed with him.
The passion between Nia and Law was of the toe-curling variety with some scorching scenes tossed in between and I loved every minute of it. The one thing that I felt was missing from the story was the insight into the killer’s life once he was revealed. I wanted to know details about him that would have shed some light on why he had turned out that way. The killer was a mass of contradictions if ever there was one. The fact that he managed to lead a life that resembled normalcy, didn’t isolate himself from the rest of the town and goes about his daily life as a normal person would were bits and pieces that fascinated me. I wanted to know what makes him tick, what kickstarts and unravels that ball of need inside of him that gives him that creepy edge.
While everyone got their happily ever afters, I wanted an epilogue or just an extra chapter to see how they were all doing, how they were all dealing with the aftermath of a killer who had not just touched their lives for brief moments in time, but left a deep impact on all of them which would only heal with time.
Recommended for fans of Shiloh Walker and fans of the Ash Trilogy.
Well, after struggling through this third book, I have to say don't read the three of these in the series in a row. Holy Cow this last one was hard to get through. If it weren't for wanting to find out who did it, I wouldn't have got even a third of the way through.
Really, I think this author is trying to channel Lora Leigh with all the "fuck" and "hell" and super over-the-top instantaneous falling in love over protectiveness by the H, reluctance by the h, over dramatics all round.
I'm sure I read some Shiloh Walker a year or so ago and it wasn't written like this. I could barely take it by the end. And, to cap it off, the most TSTL h I've read in a long time. I have no idea what the H saw in her, the 6 foot, motorcycle riding, foul mouthed, bitchy, stubborn to the point of stupidity h. Continually putting herself in danger and continuously going after stuff when she knew she shouldn't have. Holy cow, I wanted to murder her myself, just as much as the serial killer wanted to.
And some of the situations, just so eye rolling. The h barges into the H's home and pulls a gun on him and his female friend and threatens to kill them, and all the H wants to do is f*ck her? Then later the h walks into the local bar and every bloke in the place, including all the married ones want to get her into bed. Hello, no woman is that hot. Then she gets drunk and is all over the H and he, being the super hero that he is, totally won't sleep with her because, OMG, he so desperately, desperately, desperately wants to, but he's such a super hero nice guy that he tucks her into bed and goes home. *eye roll* *eye roll* and more *eye rolling* As if that would happen.
I just found this book more and more annoying as it went on.
Basically, if you love suspense and romance, you need to read this trilogy. Don't put it off any longer, don't wait. I picked up the first book, If You Hear Her on a whim, and devoured it. I was so entranced that I begged Shiloh Walker herself for ARCs of the next two books in the trilogy so I could find out what happened next. I was obsessed! Thankfully, she took pity on me and sent them my way. This is a great trilogy that has an overall crime mystery that is solved over the duration of the three books, and you get three HEAs out of it with characters you grow to know and love. And when I say you grow to know and love them, I promise that you do.
The plot was a little slower moving in the beginning of If You Know Her compared to the first two books, but the sexual tension and graphic scenes between Law and Nia were the smoking hottest! Rawr! Law has been obsessed with Nia since he first met her and she pulled a gun on him. Yup, you read that right. And Nia, despite herself, can't stop thinking about Law either. Their interactions just keep jacking up the tension higher and higher until *I* was ready to combust.
The killer knows folks are on to him and is beginning to panic, and we get a lot more storyline from his perspective. I thoroughly enjoyed the revealing of the killer, and how he is brought down. I was on the edge of my seat reading it all play out. I have to admit I had the killer figured out from the start of this third book. It all clicked. I had my suspicions but boom, I knew. Despite one major detail we were given in the first book that I knew could be accounted for in other ways *ahem*. I loved the twists and turns and how everything is revealed, and the end! OMG! It really does come down to all 6 of our favorite characters battling it out with the bad guy and the women play such kickass strong roles, I just felt proud for them. The last 50 pages made me bite all my fingernails off.
Don't miss this trilogy!! Start with If You Hear Her, then If You See Her, and then finally If You Know Her completes the romance suspense trilogy.
Grade: A. This is definitely a book and a trilogy to spaz over!
- is that I can officially say that Ms. Walker is a master at Romantic Suspense. - is that if I ever find out that you started this series at either book 2 or 3 I will never talk to you again. This MUST be read in order in order to receive the full impact! - is that she has created this intense, emotional story arc, spread over three novels, and has done it is such a way, that I really wasn't sure who the killer was until JUST before we were told. AND IT ALL MADE SENSE! This wasn't a "give clues to mislead and then reveal a completely implausible killer" type of story. - is that the dynamic between Nia and Law is outstanding. I wasn't totally fond of the characters in the 2nd book, but these two, they were everything! I specifically wrote on Goodreads while reading this "I love that this story isn't just about the mystery/suspense. Ms. Walker has created these characters that are just so... rich. I love the moments of togetherness we see scattered through the pages" - is that I was afraid to read this book. I was afraid for the series to end. But you know what? it was totally worth it! - is that I'm going to go glom everything Ms. Walker has written, because she totally does it for me! - is that THIS! This is what Romantic Suspense is and should be!
I am not sure what other readers saw in this trilogy to give it such glowing reviews. I started out really liking the first book even though I knew who the killer was then. The second book was a let down for me and the final book stunk. My biggest problem was with the character Nia. She was a world class bitch. If that was her only flaw, I could let it go but she was an idiot. This to me is unforgivable. She is smart enough to research similar murders and solve a crime that numerous law enforcement officials could not, yet she steals evidence that could be useful in obtaining search warrants and convicting the killer. Que que?? I guess the reason the killer was able to operate so long undetected is that everyone in the town is a moron. Or, probably because they do not communicate with each other. If the main characters actually shared their information and pooled their knowledge, the mystery would have been solved in book one. This was actually my complaint about another of Ms. Walker's book, The Departed. The characters were so angry and antagonistic towards each other that they did't share info that could solve the murder. Sometimes it was like watching a soap opera, very dramatic but totally stupid.
The third and final book in the Ash Trilogy by Shiloh Walker. Nia is back in town to find out the truth about her cousin's death. Law gets caught up in the search and can't deny his feelings for the woman.
Finally, we get to the end and all secrets are revealed. I guess the whodunnit correctly but I have to admit I tried to second guess myself a few times, certain that it couldn't be that easy. Yes, I would recommend this series but I'd recommend you get the whole series before you start because you won't want to stop 'til it's done.
Book 3 of the trilogy looks to be the best one yet. Hope is enjoying her new life. Mia is dealing with her attraction towards Law, while trying to find the person who killed her cousin. The killer, from book one, is still on the loose. Lena, is still in danger and has no idea. She fits the killers profile for his victims. It all comes to ahead in book 3. The danger, that has been lurking behind the scene, finally comes to the forefront! Hope, Lena, and Mia, Will be in the fight of their lives.
Rating: 4 / 5 plus a half star for excellent creativity near the end.
In most ways this book lived up to my expectations, but in some ways it didn't quite get there. I liked it, but not as much as the first two books in this trilogy.
Series: Third book in Shiloh Walker's "Ash" trilogy about the small town of Ash, Kentucky, the people who live there and the strange things going on. Series really should be read in order as there is an overall trilogy arc and tons of connections.
Summary: Ever since her cousin was brutally murdered, Nia Hollister hasn't been able to move on with her life. Her instincts are screaming that the man thought to have killed her cousin hadn't really done it and that there was still a murderer out there. So she returns to the small town of Ash, Kentucky, to get some answers and hopefully some closure.
When Law Reilly realizes Nia is back in town, he's bombarded by a ton of mixed feelings. There first meeting was quite explosive and he's never been able to forget her. This time around, he's determined not to let her slip through his fingers. But something terrible is still going on in Ash and as Law, Nia, and the rest of the group dig deeper into the mystery, everyone's lives will be in danger.
Review: I've been anxious to read this book since finishing the first one on the series. I've been dying to know who the serial killer is! Author Shilow Walker drove me nuts with keeping it a secret until the end of the third book. But that's not a bad thing. I actually quite liked it. It was very mysterious, engaging and really kept the tension up.
Now, if I hadn't had the all three books already in my possession to read back to back to back, I think it probably would have annoyed me to wait a couple months to read the next book, but I didn't so I didn't mind the cliffhangers and secrecy. I spent the entire trilogy trying to guess who it was. I had 3 suspects...one logic was pointing to, one my gut pointed to, and a back up plan ;) Turned out to be the one my gut was pointing to.
Although, I must admit, some of the details in the writing don't quite match up for me when it comes to that character being the killer. One detail in particular doesn't work. But overall, I thought the whodunit was excellently done. Walker gives just enough clues to point you in certain directions, but not enough to make it obvious. I had a blast trying to put it all together to figure out the bad guy.
And when it came to the big reveal near the end? I had to give my rating of the book a bonus half star for sheer creativity when it came to what the killer ended up doing with the bodies. Seriously creepy there. And so utterly interesting. I'm not sure if the author thought that up on her own or whether it's something she stumbled across in her research, but either was, it gets that bonus half star for including something so original in the book. Can't say I've ever come across that manner of disposing of bodies in a romantic suspense before.
My only real quibble with the suspense aspect was that I didn't really feel like all my questions were answered at the end. I wanted to know more about the bad guy...kind of a wrap-up of what all had been discovered about him and his activities once the police knew who he was and could dig into what he'd done. I was just left with some blanks about how many he'd killed, how he'd gotten away with it, what exactly happened with the first one he'd killed, and all that. You just don't get that final wrap up of the serial killer plot and it left me feeling a little let down.
On the romance front...hmm, I don't know. I didn't find Law and Nia as interesting to read about as Lena and Ezra, and Remy and Hope. I mean, I liked them and they had chemistry, but there was something about them that just didn't catch my attention entirely.
That may have something to do with how slow the book started off, in my opinion. The first chunk of the book seemed to drag by a bit with just a lot of Nia bumbling around, wanting answers, repetition of what's going on, thoughts, feelings, etc. Even the Law/Nia pairing moves rather slow to start off. I just kept reading and thinking, would something happen already? The first two books in the series kept me reading cover to cover, but the first part of this one was easy to put down and go do something else. Thankfully, it got better and I was hooked in again, but I think that slow start could have been better.
And it made the romance a little flat at times. Or...I don't know. I don't really have a good, solid explanation about why these two didn't trip all my switches. Maybe because the emotional anguish element that you get in the first two books isn't quite there. Who knows? I just found the other two couples in the series more interesting.
So in the end, still a good book, excellent suspense plot over the whole series. Very interesting, engaging. Sweet romances. It's definitely a trilogy I'd recommend to romantic suspense fans.
Favorite Quote: “ You can take that Tinkerbell shit and shove it up your ass. “
There are some spoilers from book 2 in here so proceed at your own risk.
If You Know Her is the conclusion to Shiloh walker’s exciting, nerve racking, explosive romantic suspense Ash Trilogy. She has led us on a merry chase as we watch a town terrorized by a serial killer scramble to stop him from claiming anymore victims. Though a fan of everything Ms. Walker writes, I am bias in my thinking that she absolutely kicks arse in romantic suspense. Not only does Ms. Walker deliver her trademark scorching hot love scenes and dynamic, personable characters in here but she goes above and beyond in creating a suspense that will keep you perched on the edge until the very end. Exciting pacing and a dramatic multilayered storyline will hold you hostage as the tension builds through the book, increasing with each new revelation. Ms. Walker gives us two wonderfully strong and charismatic protagonists in the form of Nia Hollister and Law Reilly.
Nia and Law first met with dubious results in If You See Her. Nia is the cousin of the first murder victim and comes to Ash to identify the body and try to figure out what happened. She was out of the country when her cousin was murdered and the guilt has her doing some investigating on her own. She is accosted by the town gossip and goes on a rampage, pulling a gun on Hope and Law, demanding they confess to her cousin’s murder. Law is instantly fascinated by Nia, and can’t stop thinking about her after she leaves.
“Stupid, he knew, being that hung up on a woman with that kind of reckless disregard. Even now he found himself wondering what that mouth of hers would feel like pressed against his. How she would taste. How she would feel if he pressed her up against a wall, then pressed himself against her…”
When she comes back to Ash, she instantly gravities to Law and they begin to work together to find the killer because neither of them believe the official story that Hope’s ex husband was the serial killer.
The sparks light the pages on fire from the moment these two first meet. The characterization of these two is so real in their personalities and actions. Both are intelligent, aggressive, independent loners. They have their own way of doing things and aren’t concerned in how others view them. I like that there were no huge hurdles or misunderstandings with their relationship to weigh their story down. The extreme steamy sexual heat these two generate will leave you exhausted as you watch them find their way in to each others arms.
“ …he wanted, so bad, to stretch her back out on the bed and learn every inch of her lovely body, first with his eyes, then with his hands, then with his mouth.”
What starts as lust develops into to an explosive love affair that is stunning to watch unfold. The romance balances nice with the main conflict-each a main component to the story and play off each other well.
Our villain comes alive in this installment. We learn of his reasoning’s behind his killing spree and the path he has chosen to take in this story. Ms. Walker did a fabulous job of hiding in him plain sight and while I had inking of who it might be, I wasn’t absolutely sure until she revealed it. His character is multi faceted and leaves you chilled as you realize the sheer magnitude of what he has done, hidden behind the normal facade he presents to the town. His narcissistic personality is so shocking in it’s duplicity that you can’t help but be impressed with him. It’s an interesting story line as we flash between his POV and the other character’s POVs. Other characters maintain their larger then life roles and continue to deepen the storyline. Our previous protagonists; Ezra and Lena, Hope and Remy continue to be central figures in this storyline as they join with Nia and Law to try and solve this case. I enjoyed the animosity that sparks between Hope and Nia. Law may think Nia is the cherry on his sundae but Hope isn’t so forgiving.
The ending is a roller coaster ride of mixed emotions as we take dangerous curves and stomach turning loops, flinging us towards an explosive confrontation that leaves no one untouched. Ms. Walker wraps up this series in a concise fashion that answers all our questions and leaves us with a HEA for our heroes and heroines. I can’t recommend this trilogy enough and proclaim it a must have for all romantic suspense fans. I don’t recommend reading it out of order. Ms. Walker’s unique set up and endings for the first two books make it almost impossible to understand what is happening if you do not start with book one-If You Hear Her.
Setting: Ash, Kentucky; Lawe’s home; Inn; Lena and ‘s home; Carter’s basement and pottery workshop;
Theme: truth; missing puzzle pieces; serial killer; gut feelings; falling in love;
Characters: Law Reilly: 6 months have passed; he doesn’t use room they were attacked in, moved library to living room; thinks of Nia often; unsettled; when Nia shows up in town, he can’t keep away from her;
Nia Hollister: 9 months have passed, and she knows the puzzle pieces are missing in the torture/rape/death of her cousin; she is collecting favors to collect reports of murdered women; she comes across one that hits her, a death in Chicago, hair cut, bracelet missing; she returns to Ash; when runs into Law at the local bar, after a few beers, she can’t keep his hands off him – wanting a night where she doesn’t think;
Lena Riddle / Ezra King: married; happy; Ezra took job as sheriff – it felt right; Lena continuing to work at Inn;
Hope Carson / Remy Jennings: Remy takes Hope on a picnic, and proposes to her – ahh;
Carter Jennings: has had a secret life since killing his first woman in college; lives a very normal life with a wife he loves (in his way); tortures them in the cellar of demolished homes from the civil war – when they are dead, he cuts them up with a electric saw, burns them up in his kiln, and uses the ashes in the glaze he uses on his pottery (that a lot of people in town have); after 6 months, the pull to kill is strong, so when at a fair in Chicago, he picks up a woman in a bar – lets her pull him into an alley, have sex, and he starts to choke her, she fights, he kills her by banging her head against the wall a few times; he takes her diamond bracelet (which he gives to his wife?!?) and cuts a length of hair; and he listens to town gossip, trying to figure out how much of a threat Nia is, and keeps counseling himself to think, to not overreact, to be invisible.
Roz Jennings: Carter’s wife – doesn’t have a clue about him; just running the inn
Summary: Ezra quietly pursing clues, uneasy with blaming the ex-husband for all that had happened; Nia reads the Chicago report, and notes the cut hair – calls her cousin’s fiancé and learns she was growing her hair long for her wedding – and Nia remembers when she saw her body, her hair was short ; she heads for Ash.
She struggles with wanting to do something, anything… but no clear path. She can’t stay away from Law – acting on her attraction to him. And Law simply can’t stay away – following his instincts to be close to her; and as Carter decides to try and scare her out of town, Law and Nia are thrown closer together.
It comes to a head when Nia sees the Chicago woman’s bracelet on Roz’s desk – she takes it – Law knew she was up to something, and gets the truth from her.. they go to Ezra… then go to take Lena (and Hope) to Lena’s house to wait it out (not easy to do, but necessary)… Remy sees Ezra trying to get a warrant - follows him, and joins him – arguing with him that his friend and cousin Carter could not be the murderer – until he sees drugged Roz’s body in one of the kilns; Carter has a plan – to go down taking as many as he can, preferable taking Lena and Nia – the ones who got things moving against him…
Confrontation at Lena’s – all fight in their own way; Law shot in the leg; Nia leaves the next day, misses Law, decides to head back, as opens door, there he is, wavering on a cane… ahhhh
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
We pick up 6 months after Jolene Hollister's death with her cousin Nia still not over her cousins death and doesn’t feel closure even with what happened at the end of the 2nd book.
Then we go into the killers head and find out about his first kill and how it came about. Interesting for me the author made it look like if his first love hadn’t goaded him to get rough with her while having sex he may not have found out he had a taste for killing in that manner. The killer at Ezra and Lena's wedding reception well known to others but we still don’t know "who" he is. Some clues are given but still not quite enough.
Nia decides after looking over cases where women were raped and killed and finding a tiny thread that is similar to Jolene's case that she needs to go back to Ash. Once there she meets with the new sheriff who is Ezra King. It’s in talking to him she finds another eerie similarity that we the readers knew from the first book that Jolene and Lena are dead ringers for each other.
Law had been a lost soul since the attack and his old love Lena getting married and Hope now with Remy. When he sees Nia coming out of the Sheriff's ofc he doesn’t understand why he suddenly feels alive when he see's Nia but is beginning to think he is tired of fighting whatever he is feeling for her. Nia too feels that spark but feels it would be a betrayal to her cousin if she gives in and has a night of pleasure with Law. But that doesn’t last long...
Nia has also come under the radar of the killer who is wondering what she is going back in Ash. He has no beef with her if she's leaves but if she stays and keeps digging.....
From here Nia and Law get alot closer. In one of their conversation about Nia investigating on her own by going out into the woods where Lena heard the screams Law realizes he has an old map of underground tunnels. Ezra, Nia and Law go in to see if they can find them. What they find gives Law nightmares.
From here things start to progress. The killer knows his hideout has been found and starts putting into motion a plan he had all along should this happen. It’s during this that we finally get to find out who the killer is.
For the climactic scene all the couples from all three books are involved. The women actually bond together and have to save themselves.
Reading this series has been an incredible journey. We got to meet 3 couples who all had their stories continued through out all 3 books. We scratched out heads thought out the first two books wondering who the killer was. I was very excited and rubbing my hand together when the killer was finally made known but I was also sad as I read the last words knowing that the series was at an end.
This is the final installment of the Ash trilogy and my favorite of the three. Not only because the killer is finally revealed (and I began to finally make some correct guesses) but because the action, suspense and romance all feel more ramped up in this one.
In this installment, Nia Hollister, the cousin of the only known victim of the serial killer, is having troubles moving forward. In the previous book, the serial killer managed to definitively plant evidence to point the finger at someone else. But Nia is not satisfied. Something doesn't feel right. As a photojournalist, she is used to doing investigating so she decides to do some digging on her own. What she finds sends her back to the town of Ash.
Once there she catches the attention of Ezra (newly appointed sheriff), Law (who has always been attracted to her) and the serial killer. Ezra was just as unsatisfied as Nia with how things were seemingly concluded. Nia's brash, angry, appearance back in town with some compelling information, re-opens the investigation and causes the killer to take some bold steps.
I enjoyed this one quite a bit. The final reveal of the identity of the killer was great and a little gruesome once you get the full story of his psycho-ness. I only began to suspect who it was in this book and for no real reason except it felt like the most likely and unlikely person at the same time. There is a lot more overall action in this one with a man-hunt and shoot-outs etc.
The romance between Nia and Law felt also more actiony as well. They had been circling around each other in the previous books, but only very briefly. In this one they allow their attraction to flare brightly. I liked the frankness of their feelings and the way the author allowed them to come together.
My only small quibble is that I felt it ended a bit abruptly. I wanted more closure. Given all that we knew and learned about the town and the people over the three books, I wish we had a little more insight into what happened with everyone, especially people in the town in the aftermath of all the events.
Also, one last important note: the cover is whitewashed. Nia is supposed to be black. The woman on that cover looks awfully non-POC to me.
This story is the conclusion of the Ash Trilogy, in which we were trying to figure out a murder plaguing the community in Ash Kentucky. I must admit, I wasn’t sure who the killer was, but I shouldn’t have been surprised.
Nia Hollister came back to town to expedite the investigation into her cousin Jolene’s murder. She was definitely a strong woman, who didn’t take crap from anyone. She carried her own gun, and she made sure people knew she wasn’t going to be anyone’s victim. She made her appearance in book 2 where she pulled a gun on Edward Lawson Reilly (“Law”) and his friend Hope. Hope had been a suspect in the murder but was later cleared. But Law felt a connection to Nia and chose to protect her during that incident. From then on, Law and Nia felt a pull towards each other.
The one thing with Nia is that she is head strong. She uncovers evidence that the person from Book 2 is NOT the murder. So Nia begins gathering evidence to support her believe that her cousin’s killer is still out there. She wants to make sure her cousin/best friends killer was brought to justice, but now Nia has stirred up the hornet’s nest. The killer starts with subtle threats but now started losing control as Nia was getting others to buy into her suspicion. Nia, Law and the rest of their crew have to quick uncover the killer’s identity before one of them become a casualty. Nothing like fear, grief and adrenaline to build up sexual tension and Nia and Law definitely gave in. Their relationship was too fast, but I guess they work. I wish the author built it up slowly like she did Remy and Hope’s relationship.
In the end, I am happy Nia and Law finally came to terms with what they were feeling. The two of them deserve some happiness as they had the most intense relationship out of the other couples.
This story was a little frightening because that ticking time bomb nutjob was normal in some instances and crazy in the next minute. The ending was really satisfying. If you love suspense and romance, this trilogy is a must read for you.
So the final instalment in the Ash trilogy and please don’t read my review if you’ve not read the previous 2 books.
Warning – Here Be Spoilers
Nia is back in Ash, totally unable to let matters lie after the murder of her cousin Joely last year. Hope’s psychotic ex has been nailed for the murder posthumously but Nia doesn’t believe it and starts to investigate similar killings and disappearances. She notices something – the killer is collecting trophies, namely hair and jewellery. It’s a key moment in his downfall as she will see something in Ash that finally names the killer to herself and to us the reader.
So, she’s back in Ash, getting herself a little drunk at the Inn where she bumps into Law – remember the last time she had seen him she’d pulled an unregistered gun on him and Hope. She quite literally throws herself at him and tries to seduce him. Law isn’t into shagging drunken women and he takes her back to her hotel room and lets her crash but only until the next morning when he calls around with coffee and they become intimate.
Their relationship develops quickly on from here as the suspense story starts to gather pace. The killer is beginning to make mistakes and become more and more desperate and his unhinged anger is aimed at Nia. At first he wants to scare her out of town but Nia is made of stronger stuff and finally he decides that if he’s going down he’s taking her with him and this leads to a very tight, very suspenseful last few chapters as the threat escalates.
I can proudly say that I identified the killer way back in book 1 – my hunch was right. Puck the dog knows who he is! I didn’t like Nia and Law quite as much as the 2 previous couples in this series but this is has been a highly entertaining trilogy and I think the books are best read one after the other without a break.
Definitely my least favorite of the trilogy. I have disliked Nia since she was introduced in If You See Her, and she did not redeem herself here. She was the epitome of a TSTL heroine: rushing off into dark, unfamiliar places to search for a serial killer; refusing to take good advice that would spare her pain because she's too "rash and impulsive;" and just generally being a bitch for no good reason. At one point, she actually asks Law why he puts up with her bitchiness, and I found myself wondering the same thing. The way she continued to talk down to Hope throughout this book was unforgivable. Eventually, she does realize that she needs to back off and let people (read: the police) handle some things, but it was too little, too late.
The wrap-up of the mystery was really satisfying. I had my suspicions about this person from the first book, and was gratified to be proven correct. His devolution seemed a little forced, as did how he tried to scare Nia off. He seemed too smart to think that would work. But damn, some of the revelations about the murders and the bodies--CREEPY AS FUCK. *shudder* I also liked the time spent with Ezra & Lena and Remy & Hope from the previous books, and, of course, Law. Really, the man's only flaw is his atrocious taste in women.
Overall, it's a solid three-star book. If I hadn't hated Nia so much, it could have easily been four, but she dragged down the whole thing.
This book was a perfect ending to the series. On the romance side of things I was so happy to see Law finally find someone, and become a little more confident in himself. In the first book I saw him as a sad little puppy dog who couldn't get the girl. In the second book he was like a big brother looking out for Hope, but Nia brings out his stronger side and he does a little more taking charge in this book, and I really liked that.
Nia is a really interesting girl. I love the bad ass persona she has, albeit the grief stricken gun wielding girl from the second book had me nervous. She's leveled out some in this book though. She comes back to Ash because she simply isn't satisfied that her cousin's murderer is really Hope's dead ex-husband. She starts digging around and finds some pretty disturbing facts.
When we discover who the killer is, and find out the totality of his MO, it's incredibly disturbing! I was excited that the killer was who I suspected though. That's my favorite part of reading a mystery, trying to figure out "who done it" before the author tells us!
This was an incredible series, I highly recommend it! My book club is reading If You Hear Her for March's meeting and I can't wait until they get into this series so I have more people to talk about it with!
So we come to the final instalment of the Ash trilogy, the one where we finally find out the killer's identity and see all of our three couples walk off into the sunset. On paper, this should be the best of the series, with the stories' climax and the romance of Law Riley, the most consistently featured character throughout, but it wasn't. In fact, it was my least favourite. Go figure.
It had some good moments. Especially sections where the killer was in the room; you knew he was because you got a section from his POV (where he's only ever referred to as 'he') but it's a crowded room so you still don't know who it is. Only that he's one of them. I thought that was clever. It's certainly a new twist on the whodunnit trope and I've never seen it told quite that way before.
But that was about the highlight to an otherwise rather dull plot. Once we found out who it was there was still quite a bit of book left and the end section really dragged because the intrigue was gone and I was no longer interested. And Law and Nia's romance was the least exiting and romantic of the three, so I didn't even really care where that ended.
20mins into the book and I think I know who the killer is, but only time will tell...
2.5hrs left, and all I have to say is... I KNEW IT!!!
All done and yeah there were WAY TOO MANY POVs in these books. It got annoying because although the story was about Law and Nia's love story in this unfolding mystery, there was too much "air time" in the other character's heads and that made the romance seemed rushed for Law and Nia.
I can understand the author wanting to get the three love stories in under this one crime, but the overall plot seemed a bit dragged out.
story - 2.5 narrator - 2.5
I just didn't like the fact that all her characters sound the same for the most part.
Finally, the identity of the serial killer is revealed and I'm actually a little disappointed I was right. I guess I was hoping Walker had some twist up her sleeve 'cause I had the guilty party as one of my two top suspects back in If You Hear Her.
Overall, I thought it was a solid series, definitely enjoyable. Again, I liked the natural, realistic, way Walker allowed the relationships between the heroes and heroines to develop. I felt the books did an admirable job of combining scary, creepy, and suspenseful without overdosing on any of them.
Loved it. Had no clue who the killer was which worked fine for me. The relationships that were formed didn't outweigh the thriller mystery part of the books. Another smashing series from Shiloh Walker, who amazes me with her wide variety of stories and incredible imagination.
I really, really enjoyed this exciting trilogy. I guessed the killer in the first book. It wasn't easy, but I just said, "What if?" The one thing I liked besides the great story was the fact they came out close together and I didn't forget anything. Thank ;you Shiloh WAlker.