Burning Cove, Book #4
By Amanda Quick
Author Website: jayneannkrentz(.)com
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
Welcome to Burning Cove, California where 1930s Hollywood glamour conceals a ruthless killer…
Vivian Brazier never thought life as an art photographer would include nightly wake-up calls to snap photos of grisly crime scenes or headshots for aspiring male actors. Although she is set on a career of transforming photography into a new art form, she knows her current work is what’s paying the bills.
After shooting crime scene photos of a famous actress, the latest victim of the murderer the press has dubbed the “Dagger Killer,” Vivian notices eerie similarities to the crime scenes of previous victims—details that only another photographer would have noticed—details that put Vivian at the top of the killer’s target list.
Nick Sundridge has always been able to “see” things that others don’t, coping with disturbing dreams and visions. His talent, or as he puts it—his curse—along with his dark past makes him a recluse, but a brilliant investigator. As the only one with the ability to help, Nick is sent to protect Vivian. Together, they discover the Dagger Killer has ties to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood royalty and high society. It is a cutthroat world of allure and deception that Vivian and Nick must traverse—all in order to uncover the killer who will stop at nothing to add them to their gallery of murders. (Goodreads)
Danger, suspense, simmering romance, and murder come together under author Amanda Quick’s deft hand in Close Up to form a diverting, action packed read. Close Up is the fourth book in the Burning Cove book series, but it can definitely be enjoyed as a standalone novel.
Vivian Brazier left her high society life in San Francisco to chase her dream of becoming an art photographer. What she finds in Southern California is resistance to her art medium (she is no Ansel Adams) and a macabre secret life as a crime scene photographer that is definitely a grisly way to make a living. When she notices details in a string of crime scenes that lead the Dagger Killer right to her door, she is placed firmly at the top of someone’s hit list. Nick Sundridge, a private investigator, is hired to be Vivian’s bodyguard, despite Vivian’s protests, and the pair soon face danger and go into hiding while they try to figure out who is trying to kill her.
Vivian is a feisty, independent, free thinking protagonist. She is smart and cool under pressure, as striking as her photography. She manages to be larger than life and relatable at the same time. Nick is rugged, astute, and appealing. He has visions, usually in his dreams, and they haunt him. Even though this gives him slightly supernatural vibes, his abilities work to his advantage and seem completely plausible within the context of the story. There is no denying the chemistry between the pair, and though they come together a bit too quickly to be believable, readers definitely root for them. They are perfect for each other. The supporting characters, including some that make appearances in previous books, are well drawn and interesting. Even the creepy gentleman assassin is fascinating yet twisted.
Close Up is heavy on the romance, but there is an intriguing mystery at its core. Quick provides plenty of misdirection and quite a bit of action and violence to keep readers on their toes. Various threads come together to make a satisfying, twisty conclusion to the tale. The pace of the story is brisk, and the writing descriptive, inviting readers into the glamour, glitz, and grit of the nineteen-thirties during Hollywood’s golden era. It is highly entertaining. Recommended for fans of historical romance/mysteries.