Title: In Close
Author: Brenda Novak
Series: Bulletproof Trilogy, book 3
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: Review copy from publisher
“Claire O'Toole's mother, Alana, went missing fifteen years ago. That was big news in Pineview, Montana, the kind of town where nothing much ever happens. Then, last year, Claire's husband, David, died in a freak accident — after launching his own investigation into Alana's disappearance.
Is Alana dead? Or did she simply abandon her husband and daughters? Claire's determined to find out — and her former boyfriend, Isaac Morgan, wants to help. Although their relationship didn't end well, he still has feelings for her. And yet it isn't until he starts to suspect David's death wasn't an accident that he's drawn back into her life.
Together, Claire and Isaac search for answers to the questions that have haunted Pineview all this time. But as they soon discover, someone's prepared to kill so those answers won't be found. . .”
In Close is the third book in the Bulletproof Trilogy by Brenda Novak.
I was really looking forward to this book, I thought it will be Pretty Boy/Rex’s story. Sadly it wasn’t. This book is about Claire O’Toole and the investigation on the disappearance of her mother fifteen years ago. We met Claire in book two (In Seconds).
I had some problems with the story and the characters. Even though I tried I couldn’t connect with Claire. Her behavior felt childish and she cared too much what other people thought about her. She was a people-pleaser to the point of sacrificing her happiness for underserving people as her sister Leanne. Claire also asked difficult questions and when she got answers she didn’t accept them despite being the truth.
Isaac was the character I liked the most. He has regretted the decision he took years back in regards to Claire. At the time he wasn’t ready for what she wanted from him. He had issues and traumas he needed to deal with before being ready for a relationship. Now he is sure he wants Claire and is willing to do anything to be with her. I loved how protective of her he was and how without expecting anything in exchange he took the reins of the investigation on his hands.
Their relationship felt rushed. I understand they had a past together but it was too much too fast.
I didn’t like any of the secondary characters starting with Claire’s sister Leanne. Her behavior was inexcusable and her story was left with many unanswered questions.
One of the problems I had was that Laurel and Myles felt completely different from the characters I loved in In Seconds. It was as if they were not the same characters but completely new ones.
My final thought: I was a little frustrated with In Close. First this is supposed to be the last book in the Bulletproof Trilogy and to say I was disappointed In Close wasn’t about Pretty Boy/Rex is an understatement. I felt cheated that the conclusion of the trilogy was the story of somebody we met quickly in book two instead of the story of the person remaining in the trio of friends from book one (Inside) and book two (In Seconds). I can say that from the three books of this series this one is the one I have liked the least. I blame it on the characters, the lack of closure of even mention of Pretty Boy/Rex and the abrupt and unsatisfactory end. Don’t take me wrong, everything wasn’t bad with In Close, Mrs. Novak writing is good as always and the mystery behind Claire’s mom disappearance had me glued to the pages, that I didn’t like the end it’s something else.
My Verdict: 3 Paws
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