Seconds to Live

Melinda Leigh
Seconds to Live
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Montlake Romance
Release Date
June 2016
Book 3 of Scarlet Falls
Romantic Suspense/Mystery

Wildlife biologist Mac Barrett avoided his hometown of Scarlet Falls for years—too many bad memories. But when he receives the news that his father is dying, he rushes home only to discover he's too late. Shaken, Mac retreats to his remote cabin seeking peace and solace. Instead, he crashes his jeep to narrowly avoid running over the naked body of a woman lying in the road. Even more disturbing, when he regains consciousness, the body is gone.

Police detective Stella Dane wants to believe Mac, even if his story about the vanishing body seems far-fetched. But when Mac's description matches the missing woman she's been searching for, it raises a disturbing question: How does a dead body disappear?

Mac and Stella will have to work together to find the answer and catch a psychotic kidnapper—and quickly. The killer has a deadly message to send, and the case is about to become personal…

Book Review by Pip (reviewer)
Jul 14, 2016   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
114 people found the following review helpful
It seems fitting that the wildest and youngest of the lot ended up as a wildlife biologist--and out in the wild as much as he could. But Mac Barrett finally returns home when his borderline-psychotic ex-military father dies and in doing so, is forced to make peace with a past that he can't seem to outrun. Exhausted and injured, the last thing he expects however, is the flash of a naked body across the road and a reconnection with police detective Stella Dane as she plows through what appears to be the marks of a serial killer tramping through town.

I loved Brody and Hannah's story, which upped my excitement for Mac's own tale the moment SECONDS TO LIVE went live on Net Galley. SECONDS TO LIVE is richly and tautly written, albeit somewhat predictable even as the relentless action and suspense seemed to shortchange the depth and crises of Mac's difficult youth and perhaps even in Stella's own backstory--all of which are merely glossed over in secondary sub-plots that don't seem satisfactorily resolved. Nonetheless, I appreciated Ms. Leigh's efforts not to make her characters veer anywhere near the TSTL boundary. While I was skeptical of their very quick mutual declarations of love by the end, both Stella's and Mac's paths down the road to romance are rather straight and thankfully unhindered by useless games, particularly when criminals at large take narrative priority.

There are some twists of course to keep me hooked, and though not so much filled with revelatory moments to leave my jaw hanging, SECONDS TO LIVE is thoroughly entertaining and good for at least a day to get lost in.
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