Illusions of Death by Lauren Linwood
Publisher & Release Date: Soul Mate Publishing, March 2, 2016
Time and setting: Present Day, Georgia
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 241 pages
Heat Level: 2 Flames
Rating: 4.5 Gold Crowns
Best-selling author Karlyn Campbell is ready for a new start after her recent divorce from a temperamental artist. When she receives word that her father had a stroke, she heads for Walton Springs with mixed feelings. Broderick Campbell wrote Pulitzer Prize-winning literary novels and denounced his daughter’s work as pedestrian and commercial, causing a rift that finally heals on his deathbed. Karlyn chooses to stay in the small Georgia town to write her popular Matt Collins series and decides to try her hand at true crime when Atlanta’s Rainbow Killer, Roy G. Biv, captures her interest.
Detective Logan Warner’s marriage didn’t survive after he lost his twins to a crazed killer who was never caught. He returns to his hometown’s police force and runs for police chief, happy he’s escaped big city crime and corruption. Emotionally dead, his interest in life is renewed when he falls in love with Karlyn and begins to build a new life with her.
But the Rainbow Killer moves beyond Atlanta, leaving a trail of dead bodies painted in bright hues in several towns north of the city. Leaving no trace evidence or DNA and choosing random victims with no apparent rhyme or reason, Roy proves unstoppable. Then he arrives in Walton Springs, threatening the peaceful town with his murder spree. With a serial killer in their back yard, Logan and Karlyn unite with the FBI to find the killer—before he finds them.
Add to Goodreads:
Lauren Linwood is truly a versatile writer. Whether she is writing Medieval, western or romantic suspense, I’m in for a real treat! Illusions of Death is not only romantic suspense, but a thriller as well. I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. I thoroughly enjoyed this high suspense novel.
The romance between the hero and heroine is well developed. The plot is “Hold onto the seat of your pants” exciting. The pacing is fast, making for an enjoyable read. Ms. Linwood’s writing style flows smoothly and her descriptive writing is gripping.
The heroine, Karlyn is a great character. She is feisty, independent and a career woman, but does not come across as abrasive at all. She really had a neglectful childhood that could have kept her from succeeding, but instead, it made her even more successful. While she is not an overly emotional character, she uses her keen intelligence to navigate difficult situations. Even though she has just gone through a messy divorce, she is not afraid to give love a chance.
Logan Warner’s character has suffered great personal loss, yet when he meets Karlyn, he is willing to take a chance. He is an intelligent, caring man, determined to protect the people he loves and do the best job he can as a detective for his small hometown. His loyalty, whether is be his family, his town or his new love, is unquestionable.
While this is such a thriller, it would have been easy to put the romantic element on the back burner, Ms. Linwood is able to grow that aspect of the story as the excitement unfolds. The chemistry between Karlyn and Logan fairly jumps off the page. While her love scenes are not explicit, they are emotional and well-written. I was definitely rooting for them to find their happy ending.
Illusions of Death has it all, a fulfilling romance, a lot of intrigue, and gripping suspense with a great mystery to solve. Ms. Linwood’s villain’s introspection is chilling and kept me guessing. I loved that! If you enjoy a thrilling story with great characters, you will love this book. Happy reading!