Series: Hidden Sins, #3
Published by Montlake Romance on 29th May 2018
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Twelve years ago, Lei Zhang and her friend Emma Nilsson miraculously lived through the notorious Sorority Row Murders that left twenty-one of their sisters dead. Still wrestling with the trauma but finally out of the limelight, Lei and Emma are now devoted to helping other victims find closure. But most disturbing for Lei—beyond the gut-wrenching survivor guilt—is that the killer was her boyfriend. He’s behind bars, but she’ll never lower her guard again.
When a copycat killer targets Lei and Emma, FBI Agent Dante Young is put in charge of anticipating the sociopath’s every move. But what he doesn’t expect is his immediate and overpowering attraction to Lei. The closer they get to each other, the more desperate and terrifying the questions become: Who wants to finish what the killer started—and why?
Now Agent Young vows to protect Lei at all costs. If they have any chance of a future together, first they have to stay alive…
What do you do when history repeats itself, particularly if there’s a past you’d rather move on from, but can’t seem to? Katee Robert puts forward a rather chilling case where her protagonists struggle to get free of the nightmare they endured in college years ago only to find themselves embroiled in it once more.
‘The Surviving Girls’ was a start-stop affair for me; I took an extraordinarily long time with it which meant that I could walk away and return without difficulty. It wasn’t really a bad read; rather it was just a mediocre one somehow, particularly where the intervention of the FBI brought a half-hearted romance element (felt like it went nowhere) into the plot and a weird twist towards the end that kept me sceptical. In fact, the number of revelations after the number of strings dangled felt like an abrupt closure with a huge dose of implausibility.
I’m guessing that the typical murder mystery has certain traits or tells when it comes to maintaining reader engagement: red-herrings, hooks, claustrophobia, use of atmosphere and so on…it’s what I do tend to look for as well and by and large, Robert does try to keep it fresh. Yet the second-half of the book seemed to go round and round as the POVs shift between Emma and Lei and sometimes Dante while staying firmly rooted the predominant issue of coping after trauma. As a result, ‘The Surviving Girls’ ended on a rather flat note after Robert’s initial build-up. I don’t dislike it, but it isn’t one that I’d particularly remember.