Monday, July 23, 2018

Robin Caroll: Darkwater Secrets

By Kelly Bridgewater

A murder investigation uncovers sordid secrets and haunting mistakes

The Darkwater Inn stands tall and proud in the French Quarter, the hub of New Orleans. Bourbon Street is bustling, and general manager Adelaide Fountaine has her hands full with a hotel at capacity. But she is shocked when a body is found: a hotel guest stabbed with a kitchen knife.

Detective Beau Savoie, Adelaide's childhood friend, is on the case. As Beau digs into the victim's past, he unearths a shocking connection between Adelaide and the murdered guest. Beau is hurt that his friend--the woman he's quietly loved for years--kept the truth from him. To make matters worse, the stress of the investigation has sent Adelaide right into the comforting arms of her coworker Dimitri. But Beau can't press Adelaide too hard . . . because he's keeping secrets of his own.

Can Adelaide and Beau afford to hide from the truth with a killer on the loose?

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

A romantic suspense or suspense is a genre I have read quite widely in, so I have a good idea of what works and what doesn't. Some of my favorite suspense or thrillers writers are Steven James, Carrie Stuart Parks, and Lynette Eason. They know how to capture an audience with plenty of page-turning suspense and having me guess who the bad guy is from the beginning, chasing clues with every page. Darkwater Secrets by Robin Caroll is my first chance to read her book. I had a hard time calling this novel a suspense novel.

The setting in New Orleans came to life was one of Caroll's strongest suites when it comes to her writing. She brings the French Quarter to life and allows me to travel to a city that I have never or desired to visit. Caroll brought the history and the traditions of the city to life for me.

The plot was the problem I had with the novel. A mystery usually introduces the killing of the victim either in the prologue or in the first chapter, then the story moves forward, trying to follow the clues to solve the mystery. BUT . . . Caroll waited until Chapter three to show the murderer attacking and killing the dead person. The first two chapters introduce you to  Adelaide, Dimitri, and Beau and set the stage for the story. Another element that bothered me was that Caroll started to have the characters follow the trail of clues, leading us toward a justifiable reason to suspect a person. Then the next chapter, Caroll had the person claim he did the murder and turned themselves into the police. This was only around page 182 in the novel. For the next eighty pages, Carroll dragged me along to solve the issues mentioned in the first couple of chapters then ended the novel with the person appearing in court for his sentencing.

As for the characters, I found them not that interesting. None of them learned and changed from the beginning to the end. Static characters. Of all three main characters, Dimitri stood out the most because he wants to become a chef not the CEO of his father's hotel business. Never once was any of the character's lives in danger. They were never threatened by the murder or had any reason to be afraid.

Overall, Darkwater Secrets by Robin Caroll did not flow like a standard suspense novel. Caroll introduced the murdered body too late and showed her cards too early, making me want to close the novel and wandered why I should keep reading. I don't know how I feel about reading the next book in the series. If you are fans of Lynette Eason, Carrie Stuart Parks, or Steven James, like me, then this book might heavily disappoint you too. Fans of Colleen Coble, Brandilyn Collins, or Lorena McCourtney might enjoy this novel.

I received a complimentary copy of Darkwater Secrets by Robin Caroll from Gilead Publishing through JustRead tours, but the opinion stated are all my own.

My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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