In a breathtaking infinity pool on a sprawling Pasadena estate, the naked body of a beautiful young woman floats facedown in a drift of rose petals blowing on the breeze. Police sergeant Jim Kissick responds instantly, pulling the dead victim from the water. When his longtime girlfriend, Detective Nan Vining, arrives on-scene, she’s full of questions, and not just about the Jane Doe. Why did the homeowner text Jim instead of calling 911? Jim’s explanation—that he’s simply an old friend of Teddy and Rebecca Sexton’s—doesn’t sit well with Nan. A survivor of a bizarre murder attempt herself, Nan’s instincts for deception are acute. She senses that they’re all hiding something—including Jim, which plunges a wedge deep into their once steadfast relationship.
Then a drought-ravaged lake in a bucolic Central California town reveals a grisly secret. Soon two local detectives arrive in Pasadena to interview Jim and his wealthy friends about a mysterious death from years back, and Nan realizes she has good reasons for her suspicions. Jim’s always been her rock, but suddenly he’s become a stranger. And once Nan identifies her Jane Doe, events careen out of control as darkness from the past threatens to consume the life that Nan has worked so hard to rebuild.
What I didn’t like: I decided to put this section first because I wanted to address the beginning of Lying Blind. I almost felt like the book was broken into two segments and I wasn’t exactly enjoying the first, which I label the prelude.
It moved slowly, didn’t keep me engaged and I struggled to keep reading. I’m usually a big fan of romantic suspense without ALL the romance but Lying Blind needed a bit more fire between the heroine, Nan Vining and her romantic partner, Jim Kissick. Their interactions didn’t make me want them to continue as a couple. They didn’t open up to each other especially as a long-standing couple.
Admittedly, Nan’s current case brings up Jim’s past and his secretiveness about that past just floors her. She’s trying to work a murder case and he almost seems to be sabotaging her efforts to find the truth.
What I liked: When Lying Blind gets to about the 30% mark, the pacing picks up dramatically. Nan is working a current murder case which suddenly overlaps with a cold case turned murder investigation. It just so happens Nan’s case has the same cast of characters as the cold case and Jim is right in the middle.
Don’t get me wrong, Nan loves Jim but the cases are driving a wedge between them and it’s not all Nan’s fault, in my opinion. At first, I thought she was being somewhat insecure but the more I read, the more I was sympathetic to her feelings.
I’ve read all the previous books in A Nan Vining Mystery series and basically was settling in with the two main characters. Lying Blind shakes up all my preconceived notions, which is a good thing. A couple of new characters are introduced and boy, did I love Luke. His character has depth, an interesting back story and he just plain sounds HOT. Believe me, Nan notices all that even though he’s putting Jim on the hot seat.
The rest of the characters aren’t as dynamic but have their part to play in the murder cases. I thought I had everything figured out but Ms Emley threw a few wrenches in the works. The ending was stunning.
You could read Lying Blind as a standalone but I think you would really appreciate the other books as they give loads of background on the main characters and their growth. Now I’m wondering where exactly Ms Emley will take the next book and can’t wait to find out.
Oh, by the way, the pricing on this e-book is fantastic at $4.99.