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A Thin, Dark Line

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  192 ratings  ·  56 reviews
When Cormac O'Malley--Dogwood, Ohio's former bad boy and a man just released from prison--returns and shows up on her doorstep, librarian Eloise Carmichael hires him as a handyman despite warnings and misgivings. After a body is found at the library, Eloise becomes obsessed with the mysteries surrounding a murder that took place fifteen years ago. But as the body count ...more
ebook, 298 pages
Published August 30th 2012 by The Writer's Coffee Shop (first published July 13th 2012)
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Jun 07, 2012 rated it really liked it

"When does the search for justice become mere revenge? What's the difference between the two?"

He was silent for several moments. "A thin, dark line," he said.

Eloise Carmichael at thirty is in a rut. She likes the ordered simplicity of her life as a librarian, yet at the same times yearns for something more. Cormac O'Malley is an ex-con, jailed for fifteen years for murder. Returning to his hometown of Dogwood, and needing work, Eloise hires Cormac as a handyman at the library.

Resentment and fear
“When does the search for justice become mere revenge? What’s the difference between the two?”.... “A thin, dark line.”

Cormac O’Mallery has just returned home to Dogwood, Ohio after spending a decade and a half incarcerated. He entered prison at the young age of eighteen, and now, fifteen years later, has returned to a town that is filled with secrets, corruption, and many who desire to see him vanish.

Thirty year old Eloise Carmichael is the local librarian. She’s one of the few who are
~ Becs ~
A very accomplished debut

When I first read the synopsis I thought – a body in the library?? How very Agatha Christie!! Also, it put me in mind of Jackson Rule by Sharon Sala but I was wrong. The author has a unique voice, the characters are well developed and there’s an intriguing mystery.

Cormac O’Malley has returned to Dogwood, Ohio after serving 15 years for the murder of the Sherriff’s son. He’s served his time, paid his debt to society and is trying to start life anew back with his
4 Stars!! Impressive debut book! Nicely entwined romantic suspense!

“An old memory, sharp and clear, came to me. I was thirteen, sitting on the side of the road with skinned hands and knees, a mangled bicycle, and a pile of dusty, tattered novels. A sixteen-year-old boy—tall and lean with gray eyes that seemed tired and sad—stopped and knelt in the dirt to help me collect my library books. Then he carried them as he walked me home

The next morning, my repaired bicycle was waiting outside the
What a nice surprise A Thin, Dark Line turned out to be! I'm always wary of debut novels, but this debut reads like the work of a veteran author. It was an incredible, emotional, riveting romantic suspense novel that I finished in one sitting.

Cormac O'Malley has returned to town after serving a prison sentence for murder. He is shunned by the entire town except for Eloise Carmichael, the town's librarian. She hires Cormac as a repair man for the library. There is an instant attraction between
Sep 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommended to Kinga by: Jill
Review compliant with the new Goodreads TOS (I think, we're still not sure what they are)

"This book is about Eloise who trips and falls in love with an ex-convict. A lot of people will die before they can live happily ever after. I liked this book very much. It's a very good book. You can buy it on Amazon."

Now, if you would like to read my actual review of this book, please go to or

DISCLAIMER: From now on all my
This story, provided by netgalley, represented a subtle, but refreshing change from the usual romantic suspense out there. I've become a bit disillusioned by the "bestseller" romantic suspenses I've read until now. So many seem to be rather stronger on the romance part than the suspense plot, which needs to be strong and tight to sell a convincing story. Some also seem to have a really irritating habit of moving straight from the hero/heroine finding a grisly dead body/getting shot/being held ...more
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A Thin, Dark Line is the debut novel written by Emma Elliot… and let me tell you, this completely passed all expectations I had. My interests peaked when I read the summary and I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading this. I am so incredibly glad I picked up this book!

When I read, I generally read because I want to swoon. And I did swoon. Cormac is very reserved, quiet, mysterious, the type of person to mostly only smile faintly. He is an extremely closed off person, I felt like we
Fani *loves angst*
Eloise Carmichael is the black sheep of the family: where her sisters are successful doctors just like her father, Eloise chose to run the city's library and become sort of a hippie, keeping a distance from the rest of them. When Cormac O'Malley comes in town after serving his fifteen years' sentence in jail for murder, Eloise is the only one in town to treat him as a human being and offer him a job. Eloise is warned by everyone to send Cormac away as he's bad news, but she still remembers the ...more
Tessamari ♥Many Waters...♥ ~ Sweet Spot Book Blog
Four Stars :)

“Then hurt me. I can handle the pain.” I eliminated the space between us in a rush that had our lips smashing together so hard our teeth knocked and my nose cracked against his cheekbone.

I haven’t read a romantic suspense in a while and thought I was due. I’m so happy to have been given an opportunity to have a sneak peak at this little gem and I was not disappointed. Though it could’ve used a little more romance, it did not deter me from really liking the story.

After fifteen
Aug 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
“I need to know what happened fifteen years ago, Cormac. I need to understand. Because I think what’s going on now is connected to what took place then. T-to you.”
His expression was bleak. “Let it go. The past is over and done with.”
“Apparently not. It looms over us. Over the whole damn town.”
“Leave it alone, Eloise.”
I bristled. “I can’t. I won’t.”

Cormac O'Malley has returned to his home town after serving 15 years in prison for murder. Local librarian, Eloise Carmichael gives him a job as a
Jul 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: almost anyone
Recommended to Sandra by: the publisher
This review can also be found on My Fiction Nook.

Please also read my interview with the author.

Well, well, well - I don't know what I expected but I didn't expect to be so blown away. Let the gushing commence.

While A Thin, Dark Line is not using a brand-new story line, Emma Elliott delivers a mighty fine romance/suspense/whodunit with her debut novel.

Eloise Carmicheal or Aunt Weez, as her two adorable godsons call her, is the family's black sheep and the librarian in the small town where she
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It's been a while since I've read a book like this. I can't say it was brilliant or original or unlike anything I've ever read, but there was something that I can't quite put my finger on that I fell in love with.

Eloise Carmichael, Aunt Weez for short, is the town's librarian and the black sheep of the family. She is the godmother to two adorable red-headed little boys and friend to a bunch of funny Italians and a couple struggling with life transitions and upcoming births. She is an all-around
Kathie (katmom)
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
First, yes, I worked for the publisher of A Thin, Dark Line.

Second, this book enthralled me. I kept reading it as a BOOK, not as a manuscript. Totally sucked me in.

I love Cormac, and Eloise is a strong, sweet woman who fights for what is right.

This is a romance, it's a mystery...and there's a kitten! I love the kitten...I love Cormac WITH the kitten!

This book comes out on August 30, 2012...would please me no end if you'd put it on your TO READ list today!

We are going to see great books from this
Michelle [Helen Geek]
Jun 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Boring, so you decide.

Overall Rating: 2.4
Book Cover / Book Blurb = 3 / 4 = total of 3.5
Writer’s Voice = 2
Character Development = 3
Story Appreciation = 1 [did not finish]
Worth the Chili = N/A
[ARC from Netgalley, no idea what booksellers will charge for this one]

This book ended as a “did not finish” for me. The writer was doing a fair job of pulling me along, until we started traveling to the mundane. We had dinner parties, we had walks and talks, we had breakfast
Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
You're showing remarkable restraint," I said
The tic in his jaws started again . "I'm trying to refrain from chewing your ass out , Eloise, and you're making it difficult ."

Murder mysteries coupled with Romance has always been my kind of genre . Add to that a couple who banter aimlessly , well for the most part and I have my cup of tea served to me right there !

I really enjoyed reading A thin , Dark line because it wasn't your usual murder mystery . While most murder mysteries hint out
Michele ~ la Smoocherina
3.5 Stars. A Thin, Dark Line was a book that I would not have normally picked up. I used it as an example in the Kristen Ashley Groups on how to request Buddy Reads. Everyone hopped on board, so I did too.

I enjoyed the plot. I thought the tried and true-ex convict-comes-back-to-town-so-he's-the-suspect-for-every-crime-that-passes-the-Sherriff's-desk was one that we've seen before, but I felt this took a different spin on it.

What I liked about the book:
*Our heroine, Eloise is what made it
Aug 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
(ARC generously provided by NetGalley)

I'll be honest: when I started this book, I was pretty skeptical. The female protagonist, Eloise, is a 30-year-old librarian who's bored with her life, thinking nothing ever happens to her. Her clothes are rumpled, and I imagine her glasses are askew, too. In other words, she's stereotypical. She also has a gay cousin whose partner, also one of her best friends, runs a boutique. Stereotypical, again. And the male protagonist, Cormac, is a brooding ex-con who
Cindy McDonald
Jun 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was great writing by Emma Elliot. She meticulously built her characters and plot, taking her time to draw you into their lives. I loved Cormac, and Eloise is a strong character with strong convictions--the only thing she didn't have the strength to fight was her feelings for Cormac. And who can blame her? Ms. Elliot drew a picture of a quiet methodical man who also had a quiet sense of humor--I loved his little digs in calling Eloise "Aunt Weezie" and her library employees "pinky" and ...more
Passion For Pages
Jul 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Review on

I knew after reading the summary that I had to read this book. Some summaries make you think, “eh, yeah it doesn’t sound so bad I’ll look it up when it comes out”, but then others, like this one, make you think, “how can I pimp myself out to get this book now?” Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, I didn’t have to do any pimping. Why? Because the lovely ladies I had contact with at TWCS Publishing House were generous
Christi Snow
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My Review:
This was a great, great book! I'm telling you there is nothing sexier than a quiet, sexy alpha with a chip on his shoulder but a heart as big as anything. That's Cormac and I fell in love with this guy. When Cormac shows up at the library, Eloise hires him remembering the boy who saved her and secretly fixed her broken bicycle when they were teens. No one else in town is willing to give him a fair shot though after being convicted of killing one of the town's most influential men. But
Author: Emma Elliot
Published By: The Writers Coffee Shop Publishing House
Age Recommended: Adult
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Blog For: GMTA
Rating: 5


"A Thin, Dark Line" by Emma Elliot was a great blend of mystery, with emotions, humor, family, and romance that will enter into this novel that kept the big surprise of just what was behind all of this plot...only coming together toward the end.

A ex-con, Cormac O'Mally had come back to this town of Dogwood...after being in prison for killing the
Jessica Viteri
"I was alone with a man who'd haunted my thoughts and dreams for the last few days. Though, if I were honest with myself, it was more like since he'd first set foot in the library and asked for a job."

Although listed in the romantic genre, this book was more suspense then romance. There was however, romantic sparks between Eloise Carmichael, our lead female, and Cormac O'Malley, our lead male. Eloise is the town librarian. She just turned 30 and is trying to figure out her life and where to go
Sep 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
A Thin, Dark Line by Emma Elliot
4/5 stars
Source: Netgalley

Emma Elliot’s A Thin, Dark Line is a triple threat with a dark mystery, a character driven plot, and a sweet romance that delivers on all levels. Everyone has a past but Cormac O’Malley’s includes fifteen years in prison for murder. Eloise Carmichael’s past included a privileged upbringing in a cold an unloving environment but no murder. To say the least both Cormac and Eloise are not what their parents expected them to be.

Cormac has
Sep 12, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2012, romance, mysteries
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was good but I wanted more - and less. The best features was that I really did not see the end coming and just exactly who was responsible ultimately for the crimes in the book. I thought the children in the book were realistic, not too cute, not too old or young than they were purported to be, etc.

But at the end I felt that maybe the author had too much going on and that hindered my feeling like I was stepping into the lives of the characters. There were a ton of brothers, sisters,
Ellen W-S
Thank you to the Writer's Coffee House for allowing access to this wonderful new author. Emma Elliot has written a wonderful romantic suspense novel with engaging characters and some Hot sexual tension burning up the pages. Loved the resourceful and independent heroine Eloise and her ex-con rugged yet sexy yet thoughtful Cormac. Will definitely give this author another go for her next book. Thank you for the introduction!
Addicted to Books
Sep 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I loved the funny children too!

The book was funny, heartwarming and sweet.
Read it! Read it! Read it!
May 26, 2015 rated it did not like it
Is this pull to pub fanfiction too? I felt like I was reading an E&B story. Me no likey.
Michela Walters
I was extremely fortunate to receive this as an ARC from NetGalley and The Writer’s Coffee Shop.

“When does the search for justice become mere revenge? What’s the difference between the two?”

He was silent for several moments. “A thin dark line,” he said

When I picked this book up, I had forgotten what the back cover blurb said about it. Going into the book without any knowledge about the plot, I was amazed to be sucked into the story from the very first chapter.

The story revolves around Eloise
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