Genre: romantic suspense
Cover: my book is blue, but this is pretty as well.
Abigail Lowery has a dark and terrifying secret. Aged just sixteen, she witnessed a shocking mafia murder. Narrowly escaping with her life, she was forced to leave her old identity - even her real name - behind for good.
Fifteen years later Abigail is still hiding from the world - a semi-recluse in the quiet, rural town of Bickford, Arkansas. She has convinced herself that this is all she needs: peace, safety... and her faithful guard dog Bert. Perhaps now, at last, she can stop running.
But Brooks Gleason, the local chief of police, has other ideas. Abigail intrigues him - and he'd like nothing better than to break through the walls she has built around herself. His persistence and determination to uncover the truth is unsettling, exciting - and dangerous. One way or another, it will change both their lives for ever.
Elizabeth was 16 when she started rebelling against her cold and controlling mother. From the day she was born, her mother has set out her life for her. What food to eat, what clothes to wear, what to read, what to watch, what to study. Abigail was a genius, and her mother wanted her to become a surgeon, like herself. But Abigail wants to join the FBI, is cyber crime unit. She has studied everything about it, and also the crimes they solve.
And so, when her mother leaves her home alone to go to a medical convention, Abigail takes the first steps on her own path. She cuts and dies her hair, and then goes to the mall for the very first time in her life, to go shopping for clothes she actually likes. And there she meets a former classmate, Julie, who has just broken up with her boyfriend and is ready for some distraction. Julie helps Elizabeth with the shopping, and when she tells her she would love to go to a nightclub, like her older sister, Elizabeth tells her she can make fake id’s so they would be able to get in.
And so their adventure starts. Getting into the hottest club in town (rumoured to be run by the Russian mafia), drinking cocktails, and dancing. All Elizabeth has ever done is dance to music in her room, but she loves it. And when two hot guys start flirting with them, they flirt right back. When Julie really wants to go with Sergio to his house, Elizabeth (or Lizzie as she calls herself now) has no choice but to come with her and Sergio’s cousin Ilya. She likes him, he pays attention to her, but she doesn’t know if she is ready to have sex with her. And she is starting to feel ill from all the alcohol they have consumed.
When Ilya can’t come with them afteral, Sergio leaves with both girls, and Liz feels really uncomfortable being the third wheel. But after being sick in the bathroom, and falling asleep on the balcony for a few minutes, the horror starts.
Sergio is killed for stealing from his uncle, the mob boss and so is Julie. And Liz has to run for her life, to keep from being murdered as well, as Ilya knows she should be there too.
After being rescued by the police, and telling her story over and over again, Elizabeth ends up in the Witness protection program. Her mother doesn’t want that, she should just forget it all and continue with her life and go to medical school. And when Elizabeth doesn’t agree with that, she just walks out of her daughter’s life. For good.
For months Elizabeth lives in a small house with two Federal Marshal’s guarding her at all times. While being locked up, she is more free than she ever was before. Able to eat and drink what she wants, she is still studying a lot as she likes that, and she is learning to cook. But then, on the eve of her 17th birthday, her guardians are killed and she is told to run away and not to trust anyone. And so she runs, never settling long in one place. Not only are the Russian mafia after her, so are FBI as she is wanted to be questioned in the murder of the two Federal Marshals.
But Liz has skills, and enough money to stay hidden under the radar. She is an amazing hacker, she can forge her own fake id and other papers if necessary and she keeps her distance from people. The one time she was feeling safe in New York city, she literally run into Ilya, and he recognized her. She had no choice but to disappear again.
So now she is living in a small town, having her own security firm and developing security for computers and companies. Her own house is of course guarded by camera’s and the best alarm system she could design. Add to that her frighteningly large dog, Bert, and she should be safe.
Until she catches the eye of the local chief of police and he just won’t take no for an answer. He won’t leave her alone, he believes she is running from someone, and he thinks he can keep her safe. His meddling family is delighted with his interest and just barge in on her whenever they feel like it as well. Liz/Abigail doesn’t know how to deal with that, she never interacted with people before. Not while living at home, and not while on the run.
But she likes Brooks, he just gets under her skin. But will she have to run again, or will they make a stand? For there is more trouble in town and with her exposure as Brooks girlfriend, the mafia will be able to find her. Unless she helps the FBI for a final time …
A good book, and I really felt for Abigail/Elizabeth. She is so very smart, and she only wants to live her life as she wants it, and not as her mother dictates it to her. She has no people skills at all, and I did think Brooks was way too pushy, he did not give her any breathing space at all. So I did not really like him in the beginning. Sure, he is a good cop and he likes his job and his family, but that does not give him the right to keep badgering her.
I liked that Abigail was such an amazing hacker, able to keep her eye on everything to do with the Volkov Family, and the FBI. She knows which agents to trust, and who are dirty.
What I really did not like, is the ending of the book. It just ends, there is no closure, no clue at all if her plans have worked out or not. I just want to have the satisfaction that the Volkovs are finished, and Nora did not give me that. And that made me feel really disappointed.
The secondary storyline with the young hooligans in town, a spoiled rich boy protected by his arrogant rich father, getting from bad to worse was good though.
© 2015 Reviews by Aurian