Monday, July 6, 2015

Patricia Bradley: Gone Without a Trace

By Kelly Bridgewater

From Amazon
Back Cover Copy:

It's been more than two years since homicide detective Livy Reynolds's cousin disappeared from Logan Point. Unlike most people in her hometown, Livy has never believed that Robyn left voluntarily. When Dallas private investigator Alex Jennings contacts Livy concerning a missing senator's daughter who was last seen in Logan Point, she notices eerie similarities between the two disappearances. But with self-doubt plaguing her and an almost instant dislike of Jennings, Livy is finding this investigation an uphill battle. With her future in law enforcement on the line, can she find a way to work with a man who is her polar opposite?

My Thoughts:

I have read Patricia Bradley’s previous two Logan Point novels: Shadows of the Past and A Promise to Protect. I have enjoyed them immensely. They do what a romantic suspense books should do. Bradley’s newest release Gone Without a Trace has a swoon-worthy hero, a dynamic heroine, and a great mystery to follow with a setting that I have become quite fond of.

Bradley’s writing is grammatical sound and easy to follow. Throughout the whole story, I had no problem distinguishing between each individual character. Bradley started a new chapter in a different point of view or had a page break to signal a point of view shift. The dialogue dragged me along for the story while the prose moved the action along and helped me understand internally the struggles of Livy, Robyn, and Alex. I enjoyed how Bradley grabbed my attention with the prologue and never let go. I couldn’t wait to see who the kidnapper was. I really enjoyed the parts of the story where Bradley showed the villain and his personality. Helps me empathize with his struggles and understand his motive.

Alex Jennings grew up a son of a district attorney and the grandson of a Senator, so he grew up with money. Alex’s greatest strength was his ability to know what he wanted out of life, even if his father and grandfather did not agree with it. He never once wavered from his decision to become a private investigator and a pilot. While on a similar vein, Livy Reynolds wants to be a detective, but she has to move on from her dilemma that keeps her from protecting her partner. Both of the characters have a lot in their past to overcome, but Bradley allows them to be strong and heroic when the time arises. The romantic tension between Livy and Alex rang true as they worked hard to find the kidnapper, so there love grew the more time they invested in each other.

One of my biggest issues with the story is the villain. When Bradley introduces who he is, I couldn’t believe it. There really was nothing that led me to believe it was him. Most mysteries leave a trial of clues, but in my opinion, Bradley picks someone out of the left field and allows him/her to take the fall. Not a believable villain for the crime. Along the same lines, Bradley wrote that after an argument between Robyn and Chase, Robyn runs into the woods. If someone is hunting you, why go into the woods? So typical. Made me want to close the book right there and stop reading.

I really liked the idea of someone being kidnapped from work and missing for two and a half years. It was unique and totally unpredictable. Most stories of someone missing usually have bad endings. Plus, Bradley allowed Robyn to share her fears and make them a reality for me.

Since the story really doesn’t have a lot of discussion about God, I believe the story would appeal to fans of mysteries and romantic suspense alike. There is no questionable content, so mystery fans of any age could enjoy this book. Gone without a Trace would be a great book for young fans of Nancy Drew. It was an okay mystery for me; One that I couldn’t wait to finish, so the antagonist would be revealed.

Thrilling, Patricia Bradley’s Gone Without a Trace has a swoon-worthy hero, a dynamic heroine, and a great mystery to follow with a setting that I have become quite fond of. While I believe the bad guy doesn’t fit the build-up, I still recommend this tale for fans of mysteries and romantic suspense.

I received a complimentary copy of Gone Without a Trace from Revell Publishing and the opinions stated are all my own. 

My Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

****This review also appears on Booktalk where I am a regular reviewer.*********

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