A Deeper Grave by Debra Webb

Posted in Advanced Reader Copy/ Contemporary Romance/ Mystery/Crime/ Netgalley/ Reviews/ Romantic Suspense 26th March 2017
A Deeper Grave by Debra WebbA Deeper Grave by Debra Webb
Series: Shades of Death #2
Published by Mira Books on May 30th 2017
Pages: 368
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four-stars

When the hunter becomes the hunted…
Serial-killer hunter Nick Shade built his legendary career chasing monsters—sadistic criminals with a gruesome thirst for death. When he rescued Montgomery detective Bobbie Gentry from horrific captivity and helped her reclaim her life, he didn't intend to be a hero. Or a target. But now a copycat murderer haunts him, and reuniting with Bobbie is his best chance at neutralizing the threat.
Bobbie can't forget the nightmares of her trauma—or the man who saved her. Working with Nick to outmaneuver the person behind a deadly vendetta feeds her hope that there's more to her world than ghosts and destruction. Maybe joining Nick's search for a killer is about gratitude. Maybe it's nothing more than cold revenge. But the only way they can protect themselves is to trust each other.

Deeply riveting, ‘A Deeper Grave’ tightens the noose on Bobbie Gentry and Nick Shade, yet draws circles around the whole burgeoning mystery as an unseen or unknown puppeteer yanks the strings of all those involved…towards an endgame that remains unclear. It’s clear that this series isn’t a simple whodunnit sort, but Debra Webb certainly cycles through the murder mystery tropes, then scrambles them so that a copycat serial killer is only a loose string in a larger web that ensnares. Like in most crime drama series, you get the feeling that things are building up somehow, somewhere, yet it’s not all revealed yet, which is probably the perfect kind of cliffhanger ending that will only come with the dramatic finale. Very light on the romance and focused on the suspense, it’s an excellent read all around really and tightly plotted, except for the fact that I couldn’t get my head around how the characters never caught onto the very obvious clues about the copycat killer.

Bobbie Gentry is finding her feet once again, though loss is a constant reminder of how much she has yet to lose. I liked her strength, her self-awareness and how she doesn’t deny her need for Nick both physically and emotionally. That she doesn’t give up on him in the end, makes me beyond eager to read their closing chapter together.

However, I find that I’ve simply blinked and missed Nick—the other protagonist who remains so shadowy that I can’t get a grasp on his character—considering his importance in the book. Yet he remains a peripheral character given the very few scenes written in his POV and the glimpses we get of his Hannibal Lecter father don’t quite do justice to his tortured hero’s psyche. Multiple POVs instead, tell the story of the people in Montgomery PD’s broken unit and of Bobbie’s healing mental state and whether it is Webb’s intention for Nick to keep that intriguing distance from Bobbie and the reader, I’m hoping the third book—and what’s presumably his final reckoning—will strip him bare.

It’s a series I’d wholly recommend, though it probably isn’t for those who want the requisite amount of angst, emotional navel-gazing and deep introspection that come with the romance portion. Yet as much as I wish for the latter, I can’t wait for Nick’s and Bobbie’s paths to converge properly this time around and the anticipation for the next book is already making me anxious.

four-stars

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