Monday, May 25, 2015

Sandra Orchard: Desperate Measures

By Kelly Bridgewater

From Amazon
Back Cover Copy: 

Kate won't be safe until all of Port Aster's secrets are revealed

Researcher Kate Adams has finally pinpointed the supposed "miracle plant" that tore apart her family years ago. She's certain that discovering its secrets is her only hope of solving the mystery surrounding her father's disappearance. She's willing to risk anything to find the truth, including her relationship with Detective Tom Parker. But with so many people in pursuit of the plant, going it alone might be a fatal mistake.

My Thoughts:

I had never read anything by Sandra Orchard, but I love mysteries, so I jumped at the chance to read Desperate Measures when the opportunity came. Inside the dark and menacing covers lies a mystery filled with a mysterious heroine that set places in Port Aster.

Desperate Measures does exactly what a third book in a series should do: it dives deeper into the overarching mystery and ties up loose ends that were presented in the first two books. I haven’t read the first two books, so I can’t comment on what happened in the first two books, but Orchard does allude to the climactic moments in the first two books, grabbing my curiosity even further. The mystery starts in the first chapter, grabbing my attention instantly. Orchard satisfies my love with enough action to hold my attention throughout the whole book. The conflict rang true, but I had a problem with the villain just appearing out of nowhere.

Detective Tom Parker and Kate Adams, herbal research scientist, relationship is explored deeper as the story progresses. I felt more connected with Tom because we understood his struggles and emotions for Kate as the story moved along, but Kate tried to keep a secret from Tom, so Orchard wrote her, in my opinion, as standoffish to the audience. Kate was scared, nervous, and always looking over her shoulder. While Tom, as a detective, had a lot of cases on his plate, so he was juggling those while trying to fight his overpowering emotions for Kate. The romantic tension was one-sided. With the happily-ever-after resolution, I felt it was too fast for my taste.

Orchard’s research into plant research appeared to be right on. It sounded natural for Kate and her friend, Patti, to discuss the care and product of the amendoso plant. All the technical terminology did not detract from the story; it flowed naturally, allowing me to lose myself in the action.

Orchard created a beautiful, yet mysterious setting in Port Aster. Orchard explained the setting when it was needed to fill the audience in on what was happening, but there were times the scene left things to my imagination.

Since this is a mystery, there is harrowing actions affecting Kate and those close to her, but there was nothing violent or graphically described. This book will appeal to fans of a good mystery with non-stop action and a little bit of romance like Christy Barritt, Lorena McCourtney, Margaret Daley. As for the spiritual content, Orchard really did not include much. I remember only one scene that mentioned God, and it wasn’t long at all. Nothing too preachy.

In short, fans of mysteries will be swept up in the non-stop action in Sandra Orchard’s ending to her Port Aster trilogy. Desperate Measures has a hero who really shines in chivalry, exciting tension, and a familiar setting for those who have read the first two books in the series. Desperate Measures made me want to read the first two books in the series to catch up on what occurred to Tom and Kate before this volume.

I received a complimentary copy of Desperate Measures from Revell Publishing and the opinions stated are all my own.  

My Rating:  4 out of 5 stars


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