Review copy was received from Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Killer Score by Melinda Colt
Series: Irish Garda Squad
Published by Self-Published on October 20, 2020
Genres: Mystery, Romance
Detective Evan Gallagher has exchanged his job as an FBI agent for a position within Ireland’s police force. An Garda Síochána rarely deals with serious crime, and Evan thinks Dublin would be a quiet place to start over—but he’s proven wrong.
Psychologist Chelsea Campbell never thought that volunteering as profiler for the Garda would change her life so drastically—until Detective Gallagher calls her to a murder scene in the middle of the night.
Is this a one-time impulse, or is the killer’s agenda only starting? As hard as Chelsea and Evan struggle to solve the case, neither of them expects a second dead body so soon. Working against the clock, they have to win this cat-and-mouse game before the killer claims the next intended victim—which happens to be one of them.
What do a cuddly black cat, a vicious online commenter, and a brilliant psychologist have to do with ugly murder on the streets of Dublin? A former FBI Agent turned Garda detective had better discover the truth quickly. This latest in the gritty, intriguing, and romantic police procedural mysteries of the Garda Squad was a welcome diversion and turned into a one-sitting riveting read.
Killer Score is the second of the standalone, loosely connected Irish Garda Squad Mysteries.
Evan Gallagher has recently left the FBI to take a cybercrimes detective job with the Irish Garda in Dublin. He’s had enough of murder investigations and wants a change after a high-profile case back in California went sideways and he’s got the bullet scar to prove it. But, his old drive to get to the truth and find justice for the victim kicks in when he stumbles on a beautiful woman murdered in the alley behind a pub. With the aid of senior detective John O’Sullivan, and insightful psychologist, Chelsea Campbell, he begins following the barely there trail to a cunning killer even while he starts to rethink his no-woman policy when he feels the mutual attraction with Chelsea.
Chelsea has her own practice, but is contracted with the police when needed. This is her first murder case and it is only Evan’s driven, capable presence that makes her feel safe. This is especially true when there is an odd, personal aspect to the case that slowly emerges. Is she starting to show signs of her mother’s schizophrenia? Getting inside this killer’s mind just might be the thing that pushes her into insanity or helps her keep Evan and her safe.
Killer Score has an engaging detective duo of Evan and Chelsea with the detective from the first book as a strong secondary figure. They are attracted, but they are also bright professionals who stay tenaciously at their job. That said, I loved how the author gave them a full backstory and shared time so their partnership was strong on more than one level. There is a sweet moment when Evan adopts the victim’s orphaned cat and a few sensual moments with Evan and Chelsea. They take the time to open themselves up to their painful pasts and start healing as a result.
The mystery was clever. There are just enough clues to keep things moving forward and even some that make little sense at the time, but later tie in perfectly. Slowly the realization dawns on what they are dealing with though I was a few steps ahead of them as the reader. I liked how the suspense built to a gut-turning climax that had me barely breathing from the excitement.
All in all, I loved how the mystery was set in a layered story with engaging characters, surrounding setting and relationships, and action balanced with character-driven moments. I am eager for more from this exciting mystery series and can definitely recommend them to those who enjoy police procedural and romantic suspense heavy on the suspense.
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