Author: Elizabeth Goddard
Series: Rocky Mountain Courage #2
Release Date: November 2, 2021
This cold case has suddenly warmed up.
She only hopes they won't get burned.
Criminal psychologist Erin Larson's dreams of a successful career come to a screeching halt when she nearly loses her life in a boating accident and then learns that her mother tried to commit suicide. She leaves her job to care for her mother in Montana. At least there Erin is able to produce her podcast, which focuses on solving missing persons cold cases.
Nathan Campbell's father was investigating such a case when he was shot, and now Nathan needs to enlist Erin's help to solve the case. She's certainly good at what she does. The only problem? She's his ex.
As the two dig deeper, it becomes clear that they, too, are being targeted--and the answers to their questions are buried deep within the past Erin struggles to explain and longs to forget.
Reviewer: Marie Edwards
Thank you in advance to the publisher, Revell (a division of Baker Books), for providing a complimentary review copy through not only the author’s launch team, but also Interviews & Reviews. A positive review was not required nor requested, and all words are my own.
As this is book #2, I do recommend reading Present Danger to familiarize yourself with the series. The first book establishes the connection of Terra Connors (Present Danger), Erin Larson (Deadly Target), and Alex Knight (Critical Alliance). Terra’s mother, Erin’s stepfather (Dwayne), and Alex’s father were killed on the mountain during a SAR (search and rescue) mission over a decade earlier. This caused the surviving children to form a sibling-type lifelong bond.
Jack and Terra from book #1 do make an appearance in this book and play a part in it throughout the entirety. Alex makes an appearance towards the end of the book.
To say Deadly Target is intense, is one HUGE understatement. It is a riveting, enthralling, action-packed, thrill ride with danger at nearly every turn in every situation from Seattle to Montana to Boston, and back to Montana.
Goddard’s use of short chapters and engaging narrative keeps the story moving along without lingering in one place too long. I definitely found myself reading more at any one time than I had planned to.
Some readers might be sensitive to the topic and mention of attempted suicide and depression. That is not the overall theme of the book though and the writer spends very little time on it.
Erin is reeling from two traumatic events in her life – the boating accident in Washington as well as her mother’s attempted suicide. Given what has happened, Erin rushes home to Montana. That was a bit too coincidental for me right off. She can at least work on her podcast. The current topic is about an abducted girl by the name of Missy. I had a feeling the accident had to center around Erin. Was it because of her job with the state, her own past, or her podcast? Goddard definitely threw out a lot of potential reasons there.
Nathan is fishing with his father. The two have a rocky past, but Newt trusts his son enough to tell him he is working a cold case he was warned off of, It deals with some articles that were given to him by Dwayne. Newt only trusts Nathan, then Newt is shot and almost killed. Definitely not a coincidence there. That won’t be the only calamity to befall Nathan though, and it won’t be all he learns either.
He and Erin happened to be where his father was shot when the dam seemingly fails, nearly killing them in a flood. Erin’s mother, Celia’s first thought? Who did it? How does a woman who almost killed herself, not remembering the act, ask such an interesting and intriguing question?
Goddard sets off on this story which is a thrill ride without proper safety restraints causing the reader to hang on for dear life through the turns, bumps, and drops. The only thing this story doesn’t do – go upside down, backwards.
The major part of the story comes together around the 87% mark. There is more suspense than romance in this, there isn’t even a kiss until page 247 (80%). Goddard keeps the main focus on the story and plot with only a few hints to Nathan and Erin’s potential future. It is clear they still care for each other.
The ending wraps up the story quite nicely overall, but left me with a few questions. I was left wondering about Celia and the attempted suicide as it seemed like it was hanging there waiting for something and then dropped. The same with yet another vandalism to the Rocky Mountain Courage memorial. Like the first book – it is mentioned and then dropped. There is definitely a message being sent, and I’m hoping it will be revealed in book #3.
To say this was a “can’t put it down” kind of read is putting it mildly. It was difficult to walk away from for any length of time and certainly the last 15 pages were pulse-pounding and head spinning. One of the bad guys, or rather a “questionable” character wasn’t revealed until the very last pages. Talk about keeping readers on edge.
Revell, which is a division of Baker Book, has primarily Christian and faith-themed reads. As such, most of their books have mentions of God, prayer, tenets of Christian faith, and expressions of faith.
Reviewer: Mindy Houng
Elizabeth Goddard once again combines intricately crafted plot, fast-paced action, nail-biting suspense with lovable characters to create a story that will take you on a wild journey to a surprising and totally unexpected ending. Though it is second book in the series, it can be read as a stand-alone.
Erin and Nathan are enjoyable characters but the book is definitely plot-driven. Cold cases, shadowy pasts, and unknown threats loom over Erin and Nathan as they dodge disasters and attempt to untangle the series of events, injuries, and deaths. If you enjoy romantic suspense, this book will hit the spot.
I received the book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinions are solely my own.
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