Cheater by Karen Rose @KarenRoseBooks ‏ @BerkleyRomance @BerkleyPub

Posted March 26, 2024 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 16 Comments

Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Cheater by Karen Rose @KarenRoseBooks ‏ @BerkleyRomance  @BerkleyPub   Cheater by Karen Rose
Series: Romantic Suspense #29, San Diego #2
Published by Berkley on March 26, 2024
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 464
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
AmazonAudibleLibro.fmBarnes & NobleApple
one-flame
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Death is not an unfamiliar visitor to Shady Oaks Retirement Village, which provides San Diego with premier elderly support from independent retiree housing to full-time hospice care. But when a resident’s body is found brutally stabbed and his apartment ransacked, it’s clear there’s someone deadly in their community. Detective Katherine “Kit” McKittrick quickly discovers that Shady Oaks is full of skeleton-riddled closets, and most tenants prefer to keep their doors firmly closed to the SDPD.

A longtime volunteer at the retirement facility, Dr. Sam Reeves honors his late grandfather’s memory by playing the piano for the residents regularly. So it shouldn’t be such a surprise when Kit crosses paths with him during her investigation, after she’d avoided the criminal psychologist—and the emotions he evokes—for the last six months.

Sam’s rapport within the retirement village proves vital to the case, and the pair find themselves working together once again—much to Kit’s dismay. But she is determined to apprehend the shadow of death lurking around Shady Oaks...and equally determined to ignore the feelings she’s developing for a certain psychologist.

I love the Romantic Suspense series. I’ve read them all. I started the series with the first Cincinnati book, with Faith and Deacon.  It was actually #16 overall. Then I went back and read the previous 15 books. I would not jump into this in the middle of a series. One could start at the beginning of a city since those stories connect well, and they seem to be labelled on Goodreads.

Cheater is the second in the San Diego stories.  This city is a different style of story than all the others. The first book, Cold Blooded Liar, really had no romance.  The main characters are Kit McKittrick, a homicide detective and Sam Reeves, a therapist.   Sam does some work with profiling for the department.  He also does a lot of volunteering in nursing homes.

Kit grew  up in the foster system until as a teenager she came to the McKittricks and was adopted.  Her impetus to become a police officer started when her sister Wren was murdered.   Her background makes her a bit prickly to trust anyone but Sam is willing to wait for her.   They end up working together more now and become more friendly.  Kit and Sam are on a very slow burn romance.

The investigation centers on murders and thefts at a nursing home.  The first victim was a retired homicide lieutenant who Kit met once. Frank, was a decorated and much respected detective.  He also had a strong group of friends at the nursing home.  Kit and her partner, Connor, are smart and capable in their search for evidence.  There are really too many bad actors at the nursing home!  It gets dangerous as they narrow down to those responsible.

In the background, the McKittricks continue to support children and foster them.  Kit brings in a group of new fosters who connect with Rita, one of their current kids.  Rita lost her mother and admires Kit as a person and her profession.  I look forward to the continued personal growth of Kit and all her relationships.

 

Excerpt:

Chapter One

Shady Oaks Retirement Village
Scripps Ranch, San Diego, California
Monday, November 7, 11:20 a.m.

Kit McKittrick allowed herself a moment to feel pity as she stood over the body of the elderly man lying dead on his apartment floor in the Shady Oaks Retirement Village. Then she squared her shoulders and proceeded to do her job.

The mood in the dead man’s living room was subdued. The ME was examining the body while CSU took photos and Latent dusted for prints, but there was little of the normal scene-of-the-crime chatter to which Kit had become accustomed in the four and a half years she’d been in Homicide.

Everyone spoke in hushed whispers, like they were in church. Because it kind of felt like they were. Haunting melancholy music from a single piano was coming from the speaker mounted on the victim’s living room wall. The music wasn’t loud, but it was overwhelming nonetheless. Kit wanted to turn it off, because the music was so sad that it made her chest hurt and her eyes burn.

But neither the speaker nor its volume controls had been dusted for prints, so she couldn’t touch it yet. Until then, she could only square her shoulders, ignore the music, and focus on getting justice for Mr. Franklin Delano Flynn.

The cause of death of the eighty-five-year-old white male was most likely the butcher knife still embedded in his chest. But she’d learned long ago not to assume. Still, a butcher knife to the chest was never good. It was a long wound, the gash in the man’s white button-up shirt extending from his sternum to his navel. Whoever had killed him had to have had a lot of strength to create such a wound.

The victim had been dead long enough for his blood to dry, both the blood that had soaked the front of his shirt and the blood that had pooled on the floor around his torso.

His eyes, filmy in death, stared sightlessly up at the ceiling. His arms lay at his sides, his hands slightly curved. Not quite flat, but not quite fists, either. It wasn’t a natural pose for the victim of a homicide who’d fallen after being stabbed. She wondered if his killer had repositioned his arms.

Mr. Flynn had been a hardy man, broad-shouldered, tall, and still muscular. Not in bad shape for eighty-five, she thought. He wore dark trousers, the pockets turned out, as if he’d been searched.

His shoes were black oxfords, buffed to such a shine that she could nearly see her own reflection. She wondered if he’d come home, surprising his attacker, or if he’d welcomed his killer into his home.

His living room had been ransacked, books knocked off shelves, knickknacks strewn on the floor. The sofa cushions had been slashed open, foam stuffing on the floor as well. The man’s bedroom was in a similar state. The drawers in the kitchen had been opened and emptied, their contents dumped on the counters. Flour and sugar containers had been dumped on the kitchen’s tiled floor. Someone had been looking for something and had left a terrible mess.

Kit wondered if they’d found what they’d been looking for. She wondered if Mr. Flynn had fought back.

Kit crouched on the victim’s right side, leaning in so that she could better examine his hands. The knuckles of his right hand were scraped and bruised, but his fingernails were what caught her attention. They were mostly gone, clipped way past the quick, down into the nail bed.

That he’d fought back was a decent assumption, then. His killer hadn’t wanted any evidence to be found under the man’s nails.

Excerpted from Cheater by Karen Rose Copyright © 2024 by Karen Rose. Excerpted by permission of Berkley. All rights reserved.

 

About Karen Rose

Internationally bestselling, RITA-award winning, author Karen Rose was born and raised in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. She met her husband, Martin, on a blind date when they were seventeen and after they both graduated from the University of Maryland, (Karen with a degree in Chemical Engineering) they moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. Karen worked as an engineer for a large consumer goods company, earning two patents, but as Karen says, “scenes were roiling in my head and I couldn’t concentrate on my job so I started writing them down. I started out writing for fun, and soon found I was hooked.”

Her debut suspense novel, DON’T TELL, was released in July, 2003. Her novels, I’M WATCHING YOU and SILENT SCREAM, received the Romance Writers of America’s RITA award for Best Romantic Suspense for 2005 and 2011. Five of her other books have been RITA finalists. To date, her books have been translated into twenty-four languages.

A former high school teacher of chemistry and physics, Karen lives in Florida with her husband of more than twenty years, her two daughters, two dogs, and a cat.

Rating Breakdown
Plot
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Writing
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Characters
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Anne - Books of My Heart
Follow me
Please follow and like us:
Follow by Email
Instagram
Twitter
Visit Us
Follow Me
RSS

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 24-COYER

Posted March 26, 2024 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 16 Comments


16 responses to “Cheater by Karen Rose

  1. I haven’t read anything by this author but I like the look of it and I like that there’s character development. I’ll have to give this a try.

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.