Review copy was received from NetGalley, Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
In the Pines by Kendra Elliot
Narrator: Teri Schnaubelt
Series: Columbia River #3, Mercy Kilpatrick #7
Published by Brilliance Audio, Montlake Romance on August 16, 2022
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Length: 8 hours, 51 minutes
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
A national treasure hunt with a $2 million prize has driven obsessed fortune seekers to overrun the small town of Eagle’s Nest, Oregon. The hunt’s cryptic clues and the lure of wealth have exposed the desperate side of human greed: theft, fights, trespassing—and even the motive to kill. Police chief Truman Daly craves peace in his town but has a murder on his hands instead. Now the big prize isn’t the only thing hiding in the pines. So is a killer.
When a young boy walks into the local café and claims his mother and baby sister have been missing for weeks, FBI special agent Mercy Kilpatrick investigates and exposes a disturbing twist in his story. Deep family secrets and lies that started sixty years ago have burst into the present, bringing with them deadly consequences.
I discovered this author with the Mercy Kilpatrick series and decided to try this new Columbia River series. This new series has each book with a different one of the author’s series characters. The previous books were with main characters I recognized but I haven’t read all her series yet. In the Pines features Mercy and Truman and I was thrilled to catch up with them again after their wedding.
Mercy and Truman have their found family with Kaylie and Ollie and couldn’t be happier. They both have plenty of law enforcement on their plates. Truman has lots of disturbances relating to the treasure hunt in the area for the two millionaire dollars hidden by an eccentric man who died and left clues to its location. There have been plenty of problems as treasure hunters follow each other and try to steal clues and now murders. Truman has a teen come in because his mother and younger sister are missing. That case goes to Mercy at the FBI, and the murder goes to Evan Bolton who is the brother to the missing mother and he also takes guardianship of the teens.
I enjoyed the well-crafted plot and character developments with the excitement of treasure, missing persons, murders, family relationships, set in an area with gorgeous scenery. I was easily engaged on many fronts throughout the story. There was so much happening and that allowed for many red herrings and much suspense about the missing mother and child.
Meanwhile the teens were raised in the area’s prepper tradition with little exposure to technology or typical teen pastimes. It was great to see them connect with their uncle and make friends with Truman and Mercy’s children. All the personal connections and development really added to the overall story.
I won’t spoil what happened but it was a terrific ending after much smart police strategy and investigation. Mercy really tipped to key factors based on her knowledge of preppers and the area. I am excited to see the next book, First Death next year will feature Evan Bolton, sheriff of the county.
I haven’t listened to this series in the past but was happy to try the audio version. I thought the narrator’s voices for the characters were realistic and felt comfortable. There was distinction between the genders and ages. I listened at my normal 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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