Everyone knows what a huge fan I am of Lisa Regan's! That's not a secret, so when she sent me Her Deadly Touch to read a few months back, I dug right in. Considering the way book eleven ended, I wasn't sure how she could make it right, but I should never have questioned the Queen of Suspense. She knew exactly what she was doing and Her Deadly Touch proved it. Read on for the blurb, my review, a cute picture of Mr. Phil and where to get your hands on a copy of this already #1 bestselling book!
The woman is kneeling at a gravestone, her hair blowing in the breeze, a bunch of wilting yellow daffodils on the grass beside her. Her eyes are fixed on the ground and her mouth is parted in a silent prayer. But the wax dripping from her cold blue lips means it’s already too late to save her…
On her first day back with the Denton PD after a major trauma, Detective Josie Quinn is on the hunt for a missing woman, Krystal Duncan, the mother of one of five children killed in a devastating school bus crash. Hours later, Josie finds Krystal’s body beside her daughter’s grave, her lips sealed together forever with wax.
Forensics match the wax to one of the candles lit in memory of the sweet little souls who died, giving Josie her first lead to a support group made up of the parents who lost children in the crash. Painstakingly dissecting the lives of these grieving couples, it’s clear to Josie that each of them is hiding something about the day of the accident—but whose secret is worth killing for?
The case takes an agonizing turn when the body of another young mother is found near the site of the bus crash. Someone connected to the accident is out for revenge. As the members of the support group are picked off one by one, every second counts for Josie to save the lives of these loving parents who have already suffered the loss of those they treasured most…
Sorry, Phil needed a cameo!
If you hadn’t already decided that Lisa Regan is the new Queen of Suspense, Her Deadly Touch will seal the deal for you. Normally, I start my reviews with sit down, buckle up, and get ready for a roller coaster ride, but this book has a much different feel to it than the previous eleven. Yes, it’s a roller coaster ride, but not like the ones you’re used to from Lisa Regan. I apologize ahead of time if this review is slightly rambling, but you’ll understand why once you read the book.
Josie is coming off suspension after her grandmother’s death. She’s lost in her grief still, and for the first time in her life, she doesn’t care about work. She’s reluctantly sucked into the case of the missing woman on her first day back in the squad room. Krystal, the mother of one of the West Denton Five, was missing. Who was the West Denton Five? They were five children killed in a bus crash two years before the opening of this book. When the book opened, the bus driver was going to trial for their deaths and the entire group of parents who lost children was reliving their worst nightmare…so was Josie.
Constantly confronted by nightmares of what happened to her grandmother compounded by her grief, Josie was barely holding it together. Every time she was faced with someone else’s pain she nearly crumbled but managed to pull herself back together each time to puzzle out the new thread tied to the next missing person, and eventually, found bodies. As always with Lisa’s books, the suspense and mystery plotline are an intricate spiderweb that spans from the first page to the last. Josie was struggling with the two words ‘if only’ after losing her grandmother. If only she had insisted Lisette go back to the hotel. Those words were so tiny, but they packed a punch that kept hitting Josie over and over until she harnessed their power to help the team solve this mystery before more bodies piled up.
Gretchen, Mettner, Fraley, Amber, and even the chief, all see the difference in Josie and while they still call her ‘boss’ and look to her for the strong guiding hand she always offers the team, there was a softness to the way they approached her in this adventure. Noah, of course, was her rock, and Lisette’s death bonded them together as both now seeing the world through the grief of losing a mother to violence. Noah’s gentleness with Josie was sweet, but it was Gretchen that broke me in this book. She loves Josie so much, and it killed her to see her in so much pain with little she could do. I really felt for Gretchen because I feel the same way every time I talk with Lisa and know I can do nothing to ease her pain after losing her father. I can listen, I can say things that in the end will mean absolutely nothing, and I can keep reminding her to put one foot in front of the other because that’s what Billy would want, but like Gretchen, I can’t make it better. For Josie’s team, they struggled with that as much as Josie struggled with her guilt, shame, and pain of how Lisette left this world.
The suspense plot in this book was superb as it always is, and for the first time, Lisa got me. I had no idea who the bad guy was and that really threw me. I ALWAYS know, but I was absolutely wrong this time.
That said, this book was also emotionally superb. Josie is mired in her grief as the book opens. I’ll be real, it’s hard as hell to read Josie’s inner thoughts knowing a lot of those thoughts are also Lisa’s as she’s faced with writing a book about grief in the middle of her grief, BUT…but. As I read, I pictured Billy standing over her shoulder as she typed, his hand on her shoulder, telling her “I couldn’t stay here forever. We all knew that…but you’re still here. Make it count. Go to work.” And she went to work. She took a seasoned detective and broke her down into a real, breathing, broken character we all just want to hug and tell her it will be okay. Maybe not today or even tomorrow, but one day, you’ll remember more of the good memories. While that gaping hole will always be there, it will be easier to fill it with the middle than the end, because no one ever gets a happy ending.
I hope this review in its honesty makes you want to pick up this novel, take a breath, crack open the spine, and live Josie’s experience. If book eleven broke you, book twelve will too, but in a different way that tells you we’re all going to be okay. Even without Lisette, Josie will go on and change the world because Lisa is doing the same. Kudos, my friend, even faced with an insurmountable amount of grief, not to mention so many family situations and tasks to deal with, you finished this book for your readers in startling brilliance. You’ve proven yourself to be the queen of suspense once again, and I hope that little voice stays in your mind because we need more of your work.
Katie Mettner writes small-town romantic tales, filled with epic love stories and happily-ever-afters.
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