Series: Hunters Ridge #3
Published by Harlequin AU on March 20th 2017
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Mia Morgan doesn’t let anything get to her. After freeing herself from an obsessive boss and saving loved ones from a serial killer, she feels like she can handle anything life throws at her. But now that killer – a deranged hunter who preys on women for sport – is coming for her. And if she runs, others will pay the price. As if that’s not enough, Ben Bowden, the brilliant detective who has made her life hell for the past four years, has some insane plan to protect her. If she collaborates with him, Mia might just have to acknowledge her true feelings. But if she keeps him out, will she let the hunter win?
Ben Bowden is sick of finding dead bodies. If being the lead detective on the biggest case in the country didn’t come with enough pressure, now the psychopath Ben is chasing has Mia Morgan in his sights. And Mia doesn’t want his help. She hasn’t forgiven him for the past, and is being less than cooperative with his investigation. Protecting her is a challenge, and the sparks that fly whenever they’re together aren’t helping. But he has to make her trust him – somehow – because she has a plan that terrifies him to the bone.
Can he convince her to work with him? Or will she risk everything to single-handedly turn the hunter into the hunted?
‘Promise of Hunters Ridge’ closes this suspense series and probably doesn’t function too well as a standalone, despite the bite-sized recounts of the sinister forces at work in Hunters Ridge. But it does however, finally give a resolution between the always-bickering Mia Morgan and Ben Bowden, the former of which typically allowing an almighty grudge to colour every frustrating interaction between them.
I picked up this book with a huge sense of anticipation and found that there were parts that I really like (the suspense, the action that really picked up after the first half) and parts that I didn’t. The pacing is slow at first, detailing the separate aspects of Mia’s and Ben’s lives before drawing their paths together, but the build-up is rewarding – especially when the actions scenes finally kicked in. Even if I found it more implausible that an entire force couldn’t nab a wanted killer whose M.O. was too obvious, Barrie writes a stunning mob-like finish that somehow made me think of democracy-rallies in classical France.
Having been kidnapped by a psychopath before, Mia’s obsession to ‘train’ herself for this killer’s return has shaped her to become a rather unpleasant, untrusting person; throw in the stalwart detective who is determined to solve this complicated case while keeping the people around him safe and the difficult, unyielding woman comes out full force. She makes deals with unsavoury characters, refuses to give into law enforcement because of her past, and pretty much does the exact opposite of what she shouldn’t – which does paint her with a TSTL broad brush from the beginning – and finds herself a coward when it comes to emotional issues.
But Sarah Barrie peppers these bits of Mia’s character with instances of her determination and courage, which does make Mia a more multifaceted character than I expected. And all this in contrast to Ben Bowden, whom I loved for his utter dedication to justice and to her. Despite his lack of sensitivity in several places, there wasn’t ever a time when I thought him any less capable of doing whatever he needed to do…and only wished that Mia matched that same fervour he had for her.
It’s a series that had gotten me nostalgic by the time I finished and while I thought Ally/Cam’s book the best of the lot, Mia/Ben’s story might actually come a close second.