When she gets the call, Nan Vining responds as a mother first and a detective second. Her daughter, Emily, has made a gruesome discovery in a secluded section of a Pasadena park: a pretty, popular young teacher from Emily’s high school and a bright yet troubled transfer student—both dead and bloody in a copse of trees. But the crime scene isn’t the only thing that seems off to Detective Vining. There’s also the cocky classmate who was with Emily in the park—the boyfriend she never knew about. What else doesn’t she know about her daughter?
As she attempts to channel both her maternal and investigative instincts into one single point of focus, Vining’s superiors at the Pasadena Police Department are moving at lightning speed. Before the evidence has even been processed, the case is closed as a clear-cut murder/suicide: a disturbed teenager murders his teacher, then takes his own life. Vining doesn’t buy it. Now she’s chasing dangerous, powerful people with secrets they would kill for—and taking them down means risking her own flesh and blood.
What I liked: First, let me say that I somehow missed book 4, Love Kills but I didn't feel I missed anything by reading Killing Secrets first. (I will go back and read it though).
I like the main character, Nan Vining. She's a cop but not the top of the chain and she has no mysterious crime fighting ability. She's a single Mom, with a somewhat rebellious teenage daughter, Emily, and she's in a good stable relationship. You know, like an everyday person.
This is listed as a mystery and the plot follows the murder/suicide of a teacher and student. To me, personally, the blurb sound more exciting than the book. I don't mean that in a bad way but to me, the relationships between the characters was more meaningful and important; most especially the relationship between Nan and her daughter.
Ms Emley, didn't leave you a trail of bread crumbs either. I didn't figure out the bad guy until right before the end. It was not obvious and there were several red herrings with a lot of misdirection.
What I didn't like: I felt the first third of Killing Secrets moved somewhat slowly. The author was setting up multiple plot lines and characters. Once I was past the first third, the book moved much more quickly and held my attention until I lost track of time.
If you like a good mystery/thriller, this series is for you. It has strong, independent characters with interesting back stories. I hope the next in the series isn't 5 years down the road!!
Here is a complete listing of the Nan Vining Mystery Series.