Thursday, March 15, 2018

Beneath the Surface by Lynn H. Blackburn

Beneath the Surface: Dive Team Investigations Book One
Genre: Suspense / Romance / Christian
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: March 6, 2018
Pages: 352

Dive into the depths of fear with an exciting new romantic suspense novel, Beneath the Surface. This gripping tale from award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn will capture readers from the first page and won’t let them go until the final, heart-pounding scene.

After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston moves home to Carrington, North Carolina, to leave behind her troubled past. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her into the present.

Homicide investigator Ryan Parker finds fulfillment in his career, but his favorite way to use his skills is as a volunteer underwater investigator with the Carrington County Sheriff’s Office dive team. When the body of a wealthy businessman is discovered in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer—one with a terrifying connection to Leigh Weston and deadly implications for them all.

“With this book, author Lynn Blackburn has moved from the status of an upcoming author to watch and cemented herself as an author to note. Her exceptional storytelling skills shine as she weaves an intricate plot, populated with characters we care deeply about. Another up-all-night-because-I-can’t-put-down-the-book read.” ~Edie Melson, award-winning author, blogger, and director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference

Beneath the Surface is a swoon-worthy romantic suspense that packs a punch from page one. The nonstop action will keep you guessing until the end.” ~Rachel Dylan, author of the Atlanta Justice series

“Just when you think you can relax, Blackburn brings you back to the edge of your seat in this riveting, high-tension suspense story.” ~Patricia Bradley, author of Justice Delayed

Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars 

Beneath the Surface is the first book in a series about a police dive team. The story is short, and the book can be quickly read over the course of a couple of days. The story centers around Leigh Weston who is the target of a killer, but no one is sure why. She solicits the help of long-time friend and dive team detective Ryan Parker. The 352-page suspense-filled story propels the reader to dive into (pun intended) the book and not come up for air until s/he finds out who is after Leigh and why.

I enjoy a good mystery, and this book did not disappoint. I wasn't able to discern who the killer was until the end, which made it even more enjoyable for me. The reason for my rating is I felt the love story within the mystery was a little contrived. I don't know if it was really needed to make a complete story. Additionally, some of the plot felt a bit unbelievable to me. All of the detectives and police officers got along really well without much conflict or tension. Similarly,  the sheriff of the police department approved the detectives spending the night and holding tactical meetings at Leigh's (the victim) home.

In addition to the mystery and romance, the book has Christian and motivational overtones. I enjoyed some of the passages that had a greater message, like this one:
"Life is hard, Parker. Everyone has tough stuff. There's no perfect relationship or perfect job or perfect house that will somehow make your life easy. What throws us for a loop is when life is hard in ways we weren't prepared for. Divorce. Illness. Disability. Money problems. Rebellious kids. Reporters who blow undercover ops. Friends who don't have the good sense to see they are messing up something really good that has fallen in their lap and they'd better fix it before it's too late." 
I received a near-final advance review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review on my website. As such, there were some minor typos that I am sure will be addressed at the time of mass publication.

Recommendation: Beneath the Surface has a little bit of something for everyone - suspense, mystery, drama, romance tied up with a little Christian inspiration. I would recommend this book to someone looking to escape reality over an extended weekend. Today is the last day to enter for a chance to win a copy of this book, plus some other cool swag. Easily enter using the giveaway links below! 

Until next time ... Read on!

Lynn H. Blackburn is the author of Hidden Legacy (Love Inspired, June 2017) and Covert Justice, winner of the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense and the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel. Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She’s passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don’t make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. She lives in Simpsonville, South Carolina, with her true love, Brian, and their three children. 

Connect with Lynn: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter | Goodreads

Grand Prize: Print Copy of the Book, Library Card Socks, Gone Reading Sign (wooden, 5"x7"), Reading Mug; 
2nd Prize: Print Copy of the Book + $25 B&N Gift Card;
3rd Prize: Print Copy of the Book + $10 Starbucks Gift Card
March 6-15, 2018
(U.S. Only)

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