by Alex Barclay
on Tour February 24th through March 31st, 2015
FBI Agent Ren Bryce finds herself entangled in two seemingly unrelated mysteries. But the past has a way of echoing down the years and finding its way into the present.
When Special Agent Ren Bryce discovers the body of a young woman in an abandoned car, solving the case becomes personal. But the more she uncovers about the victim’s last movements, the more questions are raised.
Why was Laura Flynn driving towards a ranch for troubled teens in the middle of Colorado when her employers thought she was hundreds of miles away? And what did she know about a case from fifty years ago, which her death dramatically reopens?
As Ren and cold case investigator Janine Hooks slowly weave the threads together, a picture emerges of a privileged family determined to hide some very dark secrets – whatever the cost.
Harm’s Reach opens at a fast pace- we meet a dozen characters and pick up some quickly disseminated information about several unrelated crimes, including a bank robbery, a murder and a couple of cold cases.
And right away on page two we find out our lead character, FBI agent Ren Bryce, is bipolar and her boss knows about her diagnosis. While I understand this is fiction and I regularly suspend disbelief when reading (it’s more fun that way!), I had a hard time reconciling the idea of a bipolar FBI agent with any remote possibility of reality. It just would not happen. EVER. Because that’s how people die. But I digress.
Throughout the book, we are treated to Ren’s thoughts that hint to her manic side. She says normal sounding words out loud to her co-workers, but then we see her thoughts that she has kept to herself. It’s exhausting to be in her head. She was hard to relate to, but by the end of the book, I felt for her and wish her good results in therapy.
Initially, I had a hard time getting into the story. After the first few chapters though, the mystery settles into an easier to follow rhythm and my interest built as the investigation developed. And those seemingly unrelated crimes? The author did a lovely job tying most of them into a satisfying ending and she did it without rushing to the finish.
By the end, I was glad I stuck with it and was satisfied with the conclusion. I am curious now about the first three books in this series and what led to Ren’s diagnosis. Ultimately, Harm’s Reach is an enjoyable read, but you do have to pay attention upfront to the details, they will matter later.
Keep reading for the giveaway and an excerpt from Harm’s Reach!
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Read an excerpt:
Barclay studied journalism at university and worked for a period in fashion and beauty journalism as a copywriter in the RTÉ Guide. In 2003, she left the fashion industry to write Darkhouse, the first of two novels featuring NYPD detective Joe Lucchesi. Her second novel, The Caller, was released in 2007, and Last Call in 2008. She won the Ireland AM Crime Fiction Award at the Irish Book Awards for her fourth novel, Blood Runs Cold.
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Published by: HarperCollins
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Number of Pages: 416
ISBN: 0007494513 (ISBN13: 9780007494514)
Source: Advance review copy from publisher via Partners in Crime Book Tours in return for an honest review.
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