If you aren't in the mood for a trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, you will be after you read the third book in Colleen Coble's Hope Beach Series! Seagrass Pier is just as good as it's predecessors. My favorite thing about Ms. Coble's books, is that they are mystery/thrillers first, and romance second. Don't get me wrong, the love part is great, but it doesn't overshadow the suspense of the crimes-whatever they may be.
Laura Watson was murdered while working on a cruise ship. Elin Summerall received Larua's heart in a transplant, and ever since, she's been having flashbacks of things that happened to Laura. Not many people believe her, and the police think she's crazy, but someone is out to get her. She finds that she can only trust one person. Marc Everton is the cousin of Elin's best friend, Sara. Five years ago they had a fling, and now they have a daughter. But Marc didn't know that Josie was his. Now that he does, he's determined to keep her, and Elin safe. Elin and Marc begin to get close as it becomes more and more obvious that someone wants her dead. They investigate the events surrounding Laura's death, and can only hope that when they find her killer, they will also stop the attacks on Elin. But there may be even more danger than they realize when a drug smuggler loses a shipment of heroin that washed up on the shore near Elin's isolated home. The dealer will stop at nothing, even murder, to get his drugs back. And someone else is lurking in the shadows, searching for a long-lost map that is rumored to lead to a hidden city full of treasure. Marc and Elin don't even know that someone is searching for the map, and it may be someone closer, and more dangerous than they know.
So many stories wound into one book! While this is challenging for many authors, Ms. Coble pulls it off like the professional that she is. This book has it all: two love stories, a historical diary (with a tale of it's own), drugs, murder, hidden passages and caves. Danger lurks around every corner and it kept me awake and reading late into the night! As with the other Hope Beach books, this one has such beautiful descriptions of the sun and sand, that I can literally imagine myself there. I love the characters. Although I'm a little skeptical about the cell memory aspect, it's an intriguing idea. Is it possible that a person can have the memories and tastes of another person after receiving an organ from them? I don't know, but it makes a great story. My only issue with this book was that I found the dialogue to be a little stilted at times. Other than that one issue, it was perfect.
If you're going to the beach this summer--or even if you aren't--you need to read this book! It's that perfect blend of romance and mystery that makes this a great summer read.
Happy ~Summer~ Reading!
I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.