Nancy Bush's 'Nowhere to Hide' : A Review

Nowhere To Hide (Rafferty Family)
Nowhere To Hide (Rafferty Family)

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Pages: 378

Rating: ***


Apparently, someone didn't like my comments on the last romantic mystery that I'd read and reviewed. While I refused to apologize for my opinion, I was challenged with another novel from the genre. Rolling my eyes I accepted the challenge. What I found was a well thought out mystery with only a hint of romance. While my opinion of the genre has improved, I'm still not completely sold on the genre as a whole. Granted my experience with romantic mysteries is still very limited, I'll still gladly accept any requests that anyone may have. . .

September Rafferty is the newest hot shot detective to step on the scene. She thinks that a golden opportunity has fallen into her lap when the latest string of vicious homicides is assigned to her. The victims have several details in common: same athletic build, long dark hair and a message carved into their skin 'Do onto others as she did to me.' September doesn't initially think anything of the similarities until one day a piece of her gradeschool artwork appears on her desk with the same message scrawled on it. September realizes that she has the same athletic build and hair color as the other victims. Now with this message hand delivered to her, she concludes that she is next in line on the killer's hit list. It becomes obvious that the killer is either a member of her own family, or someone that she grew up with. Most women would be terrified, but September sees the challenge and it drives her to solve the case before the killer can get her in his clutches. The Rafferty family is the definition of dysfuntion. It's a family tree whos roots are saturated with alcohol and infidelities. Family turns on family with the drop of a hat, and new secrets reveal themselves almost daily. As September begins looking at her own family for answers, she realizes that anyone could be the culprit. However, when fingers begin to point at high school sweetheart, Jake, things really start getting personal for September. Will she solve the crime before the murderer strikes again? Or is the killer a little closer to home than she wants to admit.

Despite my low rating, I did enjoy the book. I just found some flaws that prevented me from consciously bumping the score up. The first thing I need to point out is the pacing of the story. The first half of the book is rather slow and ventures dangerously on the side of dull. Thankfully, everything picks up when September starts putting the pieces of the puzzle together. I will give Bush credit, when things really start speeding up, the intensity grips you like a vice. The characters aren't really anything special. September doesn't really come alive, and the rest of the cast simply don't pop. So needless to say, I didn't really feel anything for anybody. The plot certainly doesn't lack for twists or turns. Just as I thought I had the killer pegged, another clue would come along and comletely change my mind. In all honesty, I didn't figure it out until the very end. What baffles me a little is Bush's decision to include certain details into the story that don't really add to the mystery or character depth. Lastly, the epilogue of the story left more questions than answers, so I'm left feeling confused. Bush gets points for writing a mystery that stumped me. She also gets points for writing a plot that really picks up exciting speed. However, she loses them for how long the story takes to pick up. The flatness of the cast certainly leaves a lot to be desired. While I'm glad I read the book, and it DID improve my view of the genre, I'm still left wanting so much more.

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