The Book Gourmet

Book reviews à la bookworm...The good, the bad, and everything in between.



Professional Reader Reviews Published

Review: Don't Look Away by Leslie A. Smith (Kelly)

Don't Look Away (Veronica Sloan #1) - Leslie A. Smith

***copy provided by publisher through NetGalley***

A murder is taking place in one of the sub-basements of the White House. The victim, despite the pain she is in, tries to keep her eyes open, knowing the last images she sees before her death might help identify her killer.

Her body is found in pieces with one important one missing—her head.

The detective assigned to the case is Veronica “Ronnie” Logan, the only D.C.P.D. detective qualified to deal with such a sensitive case. Because the victim was one of the 5,000 people enrolled in a special program where a chip is implanted into the brain, merging with the optical nerve, recording every image the individual sees...

And Leanne Carr might have gotten a glimpse of her sadistic executor before she died.

There’s a reason that Leslie Kelly (in all her incarnations) is one of my favorite authors. I especially love her romantic suspense novels, so it’s no surprise I loved this new addition to her writing opus. This one read more like a thriller than romantic suspense, but there was absolutely nothing wrong with that. I. Loved. It.

It had everything I might want from a book—a feisty, strong, somewhat scarred heroine, a great plot, a very good mystery (the fact I didn’t know who the killer was until the author chose to reveal the identity was an additional plus), wonderful story-telling, great world-building (the story takes place in a not-so-distant future, but a much different one, thanks to events between now and then that had shaped the society and the entire nation), some (almost) sci-fi elements (with the I.D. chips and the optical-nerve implants), a love-triangle of sorts, and a wonderful leading man (that appeared somewhere in the middle, but was the leading man for me) that provided some romance to keep things lively. ;)

I adored Veronica. There’s no other was to describe my ‘feelings’ toward her. I absolutely adored her. I guess under some other author’s quill I might find her bitchy and rather annoying whit all her hang-ups and baggage, but in this context, with this ‘creator’, I completely understood her. I understood where she came from, why she behaved the way she did, why she kept everybody at a distance...Who wouldn’t? I most certainly would if something like that happened to me.
And I was so utterly glad Ms. Kelly (Smith) created a fitting hero for this amazing heroine. Someone who understood her completely, someone who knew when to push and when to leave her be, someone who knew when to give her space and when to crowd her. Yes, I adored Sykes, too.

And I can’t wait to read more about these two, and maybe get a somewhat happy ending for them. And Ronnie’s partner, because he sure deserves it.

And though the book ends rather satisfyingly—the good guys survive, the killer is dead...It also ends in a cliffhanger. The murders (yes, multiple murders) were apparently part of a bigger picture, and boy am I champing at the bit to read the sequel and see that bigger picture.

A wonderful and complex story that some might find lacking in the romance department, but anything more than what we were served might have overshadowed the other elements and aspects of the story. Great plot, flow of narration, and characterization. Loved it!