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Here is the first book of the exciting new Widow’s Island Series, Close to the Bone by Kendra Elliot. This book is a novella, so it is a perfect sized read for these fall evenings. The story is set in a series of islands in the Pacific Northwest. FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde is taking some time off for medical leave, and is staying with the grandmother that raised her. She is 3 weeks into her medical leave, and she still has 3 weeks to go, but she’s called back to duty because skeletal remains have been found on a nearby island and due to weather conditions she is the FBI’s only agent that is close enough to start the case. She is promised that when the weather clears they will get another agent in to take over, but for now Cate is going to have to struggle through.
Cate is joined by her childhood friend, Tessa Black who is a local deputy. The hard part is, that Cate and Tessa had another friend in their group, Samantha, who disappeared when she was fourteen. In a similar case, just two years ago, Becca Conan disappeared in a similar manner and the FBI was not able to solve that case. These remains were found on the island that Becca’s famous father is living on. Who’s remains are they looking at, and how are they going to solve the mystery when their resources are limited. There is a new doctor on the island, and as he attends the burial site, he finds out that it is part of his job to be the local coroner as well. Do they have enough information to solve this case before the weather breaks?
“People who have survived life-changing illnesses often end up here.” She leaned closer to Cate and lowered her voice. “They don’t know why…but us islanders understand.”
Kendra Elliot has a true gift for bringing characters to life in her stories, and this book definitely carries on in the same fashion. As you get to know the various characters, you find out their backgrounds, family histories, and their strengths and weaknesses as the story unwinds. What is truly special about this first book in the Widow’s Island series, is that the location is also fleshed out to a great degree. Each island has its own characteristics and the names of the islands are telling as well. There is even talk about how some people belong on the islands and others do not. For example, the new doctor is frustrated when he finds out that the locals are playing with him about local rumors and silly pranks. But when he meets Cate’s grandmother as a patient, she asks him how he felt when he came to the island, and it makes him stop and think about how this might just be his new home.
With a combination of great mystery, characters, and pacific northwest charm, this book will keep you guessing until the end. Close to the Bone is a great read and a strong start to this new series. Book 2 will be coming out shortly and is written by Melinda Leigh, who has partnered with Kendra Elliot in the past with amazing results. I’m really looking forward to this new series!
Disclosure: Thank you to Montlake Romance for providing me with a complimentary copy of this e-book for review purposes. No other compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.
You can purchase your own copy of Close to the Bone here: https://www.amazon.com/Close-Bone-Widows-Island-Novella-ebook/dp/B07F1442NX/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1539449702&sr=8-2&keywords=close+to+the+bone
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