Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Pretend You're Safe by Alexandra Ivy
Narrator: Jim Frangione
Series: The Agency #1
Published by Recorded Books on February 13, 2018
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Length: 10 hours, 20 minutes
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HE SEES YOU
First came the floods. Then came the bodies. The victims—strangled, then buried along the shores of the Mississippi—have finally been unearthed, years after they disappeared. He remembers every satisfying kill . . . each woman’s terror and agony. But there’s only one he truly wanted. And fate has brought her within reach again . . .
HE KNOWS YOU
Jaci Patterson was sixteen when she found the first golden locket on her porch. Inside were a few strands of hair wrapped around a scrap of bloodstained ribbon. Though the “gifts” kept arriving, no one believed her hunch that a serial killer was at work. Now Jaci has returned home . . . and the nightmare is starting once more.
AND HE’LL NEVER LET YOU GO
Back then, Rylan Cooper was an arrogant deputy sheriff convinced that Jaci was just an attention—seeking teen. It was a fatal mistake. There’s a murderer in their midst, someone determined to settle old scores and keep playing a twisted game. And it won’t end until Jaci is his forever . . .
I’m always up for a new romantic suspense, and Pretend You’re Safe is the first in The Agency series. The characters of Jaci and Rylan were the most developed other than Jaci’s sister and mother. The town’s characters provided an interesting backdrop with just the beginnings of their personalities.
I loved Jaci. She was so strong and self-sufficient. Her business skills were impressive. She made her own way in a smaller town, despite the disdain of some of her family. Rylan is a little more of a mystery, not as clearly-defined. He has some law enforcement connections, some top-notch computer skills, money and some business contacts.
The murder and serial killer plot is twisty. There are multiple possibilities. The other character most developed is the sheriff, Mike. I kept thinking how sometimes things were shared with too many people and they weren’t careful enough, even when they were supposed to be careful. It felt a bit more like a romance than a murder case. The law enforcement didn’t seem to handle things well or have enough time to investigate. Of course, the poor sheriff in a small town has to be an investigator and a politician of sorts. Mike had to spend more reacting than proactive steps.
The romance happened quickly but they knew one another most of their lives. Suspense does tend to heighten the emotions and make feelings come out clearly. I liked the way they treated one another, and talked / listened to each other.
The series seems to be based about Rylan’s business. The next book, What Are You Afraid Of?, features his partner, Griffin. It released in March, so I’ll be trying to read/listen to it soon.
It felt as if much of the focus is a female character, Jaci. So it was strange having a male narrator. I thought it was a comfortable voice which kept me in the story. I have to say I didn’t notice the male or female voices being distinct as there was more of their thoughts than actual dialogue it seemed. I chose the 1.25 speed for listening. I really enjoyed the audio, and listened as often as possible to the end.
Listen to a clip here:
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2018 Audiobook Challenge
- 2018 New Release Challenge