Sunday, March 4, 2018

✱✱ Book Review ✱✱ Closer Than You Know by Brad Parks

Closer Than You Know
by Brad Parks

Brad Parks delivers another riveting, emotionally powerful stand-alone domestic suspense thriller perfect for fans of The Couple Next Door and What She Knew.

Disaster, Melanie Barrick was once told, is always closer than you know.

It was a lesson she learned the hard way growing up in the constant upheaval of foster care. But now that she's survived into adulthood--with a loving husband, a steady job, and a beautiful baby boy named Alex--she thought that turmoil was behind her.

Until one Tuesday evening when she goes to pick up Alex from childcare only to discover he's been removed by Social Services. And no one will say why. It's a terrifying scenario for any parent, but doubly so for Melanie, who knows the unintended horrors of what everyone coldly calls "the system." 

Her nightmare mushrooms when she arrives home to learn her house has been raided by sheriff's deputies, who have found enough cocaine to send Melanie to prison for years. The evidence against her is overwhelming, and if Melanie can't prove her innocence, she'll lose Alex forever.

Meanwhile, assistant commonwealth's attorney Amy Kaye--who has been assigned Melanie's case--has her own troubles. She's been dogged by a cold case no one wants her to pursue: a serial rapist who has avoided detection by wearing a mask and whispering his commands. Over the years, he has victimized dozens of women.

Including Melanie. Yet now her attacker might be the key to her salvation . . . or her undoing.

Closer Than You Know releases March 6th


Momma Says: 3 stars ⭐⭐⭐

Closer Than You Know starts with every parent's worst nightmare and doesn't let up. The story moves at a fast pace, the characters are interesting, and there are plenty of twists along the way. All of these things combined should've made this a four or even five star read, but my problems lay with the completely implausible events scattered throughout this tale. The reasons for what was happening to Melanie were obvious very early on, if not the identity of the person behind it all. However, that became pretty clear to me about half-way through, despite a ringer thrown into the mix. Without going into too much detail, so as not to give spoilers, I found it hard to believe that no one around the antagonist would have any idea of things going in their personal life, especially given who it is. So, by the time I reached the big reveal and conclusion, I was left with a couple of choices - either the big baddie is a brilliant criminal mastermind, which is a big stretch given what we're told, or everyone around them is an idiot. Either way, the story had potential, but came up a bit lacking in the delivery for me. I realize that this is fiction, so a certain amount of leeway can be given, but everything combined was just a little too much, making this just an okay read.

**ARC provided by NetGalley and PENGUIN GROUP Dutton


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