Cover Image: Hope's Peak

Hope's Peak

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Member Reviews

Someone is killing young black women  in Hope's Peak, North Carolina and leaving a crown of vines on their heads. When Detective Jane Harper and her partner Stu investigate they discover the police department has been covering up other murders to not keep tourists away for financial reasons for decades. They turn to the daughter of one the first victims who claims to have "gifts" after touching the deceased. I'm not usually a fan of the supernatural but this was tastefully done and I enjoyed this well written mystery. I'm anticipating reading more of this author's work.
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Hopes's Peak rates as one of the best books that I have read for some time in this genre. Although I have heard of Tony Healey, it's the first time that I have read one of his books. I received this book via Netgalley and this is my honest review.

I was gripped from the beginning, which doesn't happen that often. Parts made me cringe at the thoughts and in my head I was trying to will the story to take another direction. You know the feeling when you know something bad is going to happen and you don't want it to. I rarely write what a story is about for fear of spoiling for others, but do recommend if you enjoy this genre. I hope to read more books by this author.
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Beyond the shores of Hope’s Peak, North Carolina, evil waits as his next victim approaches. He’ll make her a princess like the others…

Detective Jane Harper can’t shake the image of the young woman discovered in a field—eyes closed, a crown of woven vines on her head. She expects macabre murders like this in her native San Francisco, not here. Jane and her partner, Stu, vow to catch the killer, but in this town, that’s easier said than done. The police department is in the grips of a wide-reaching scandal that could topple the entire force, and Jane and Stu face a series of dead ends. Until they meet Ida Lane.

Ida knows too well the evil that lurks in the cornfields. Tortured by her mother’s murder years before, Ida is paralyzed by the fear that she could be next. As the killer grows bolder, Jane must persuade Ida to use her remarkable gifts to help in the investigation. It’s a decision that brings them closer to the killer…maybe too close.

I enjoyed this but some of the characters were a bit wooden - plus the book could have been longer.
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The first book of Hope's Peak was quite thrilling at times but it left me wanting on several aspects.

First of all, I never even got a clear image of how the detectives look or who they were really. They seemed bland.

Many things did not feel realistic, much like the dialogues. Even the way the detectives addressed each other, particularly Stu calling Harper 'kiddo' when they were sleeping together, irked me.

The procedural aspect felt lacking as well. (view spoiler)

The scenes where the killer is described are what kept the book up for me and, consequently, the rating. He was a truly wicked fellow.

Hope's Peak had its highlights but I would not say it shines amongst other of the genre. It is still an exciting read, for the most part.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Hope's Peak is a small North Carolina town.... too small to have a serial killer, but this one has gone undetected for years.... until recently. Pairing up with Detective Stu Raley, Detective Jane Harper learns that  small towns sometimes have the darkest secrets.

Young black girls go missing, only their bodies show up days later, brutally beaten and raped, strangled and left to be found with a crown of twigs.  They are left with DNA, but unless they can find a suspect to compare it to, they are facing a lot of dead ends.

Their investigation leads them to a scandal that could conceivably turn the police department inside out and upside down.  This killer has been at his craft for many years ... and the town powers that be turned a blind eye.

Going back to the very beginning, Jane and Stu find the daughter of the very first victim, 30 years ago. What they find astounds them!

This book started out as "just another serial killer". I was not expecting the bumps in the road, the feeling of being on a roller coaster, the twists and turns that the author has so cleverly crafted. I enjoyed the little bit of paranormal ... came as a surprise, but added a lot of substance to the book.

WARNING:  There are graphic scenes of rape, violence.  There are also explicit moments of intimacy between Jane and Stu.

The ending is satisfactory but there is a bit of cliffhanger and I'm hoping the next book,  STORM'S EDGE, will address what happens 'after'.

I wish to thank the author / Thomas & Mercer / Netgalley who provided a digital copy. The opinion expressed here is unbiased and entirely my own.
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Regrettably, this didn't cut it for me.  It would have benefited from a strong editing to tighten things up, fix some of the dialogue, and basically help it.  These were not strong characters, which is often the saving grace of a weak plot.  Sorry to Netgalley which granted me an ARC but I can't really recommend it.
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This book was fantastic! Within a few pages I was completely gripped and couldn't put it down. Very satisfying ending which makes it hard to wait for the second book in the series to come out! Will definitely be recommending this one.
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2 Stars

Unfortunately, I didn’t realize how much sex played a part in this book. As someone who has PTSD from violent sexual encounters, I cannot tolerate anything that has to do with violent sex. 

I did not get far into this book, so I apologize for the low score – but I couldn’t read it. 

Thanking Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for forwarding me a copy of this book, and I am sorry I couldn’t get into it.
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It was a decent book but there were enough flaws to feel disappointed after the synopsis sounded so intriguing. 

Basically a serial killer has been active in this small North Carolina town but only those in power know about it because they forced the police to alter details of each killing and take an oath of silence under threat of ruining their lives so no one, including the deceased’s family members, know this happening. At one point a character implies someone in this power circle knows who the murderer is and they’re being protected at the cost of innocent lives lost. However, even though the murderer is revealed in the middle of the book and a small flashback scene at the end has someone show up to tell him that he’s being protected, it’s never made explicit who the murderer was connected to, how it was known he was the one doing the killing spree, why he was being protected, etc. When the police FINALLY figure out who is doing it there’s no big recognition on their part or anyone else’s that this murderer is connected to anyone important enough to force the crimes to remain unsolved for this long. A HUGE plot hole is just left dangling.

Even though the ‘good’ detectives who found out about this swear they’re going to bust everyone into the limelight who was involved in this cover up that never happens either. 

It was very irritating to get to the end and not find out why this was all let to happen unless the racist implications throughout the book are meant to be some kind of detail that this town is run by white supremacists who had no problem letting innocent black girls die. Therefore it wasn’t that the murderer was actually connected to anyone specific but more along the lines that he was doing something these people wanted done but didn’t have the ability to do it themselves.

There were also holes in how the detectives’ lives were handled. Harper was said to have left a bad marriage then a psychic had a vision of her leaving an envelope and her wedding ring before walking out of her house but no details were given to put any of her past into context. Her partner Stu was also said to have left a bad marriage, it seemed to be implied his wife left him because he couldn’t get her pregnant then suddenly out of nowhere her character is showing up angry claiming their marriage blew up because he was having an affair with his partner though they weren’t. 

Of course there had to be a psychic and it was only through the psychic we could get more details of the murders because the detectives were too busy having a relationship or not having a relationship to find out anything themselves. One of the worst aspects of this ‘detective’ work was that the real files the detectives used to find the serial were apparently being kept in the basement of the police station in a locked file cabinet. Yes, the very proof that would’ve brought down an until number of politicians, businessmen, and even police captains who were involved in a multi-decade cover up of a serial had been kept for anyone to find.
There were SO MANY details not given except when it came to the rape and murder scenes, these the author went into overdrive on to ensure the reader could put themselves in the moment which makes me wonder about the author’s state of mind that he could get so explicit here but so vague through the rest of his book.
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This book is dark. Like, really dark. If you want a happy ending, skip this one.

But it’s also very good, in terms of thrillers. It has a definite “Psycho” vibe, a movie which the author mentions in the novel. Fans of the movie will certainly enjoy this book. Like the movie, it’ll scare the pants off of you.

The novel follows Jane Harper, who at the beginning of the novel is at the scene of the second ritualistic murder in recent weeks. She thinks a budding serial killer may be on the loose, but as her and her partner, Stu, are beginning their investigation, they find out the murders go back much farther. The first victim’s daughter, plays a big role in their investigation, with her host for being able to “see” things when she touches emotionally-charged people or objects. But she’s been fragile since her mother’s death – cut off from the outside world. There’s also a sub-plot involving Harper and Stu’s personal relationship.

The book isn’t a whodunnit, since readers are let in on the killer’s identity fairly early on, it’s more about watching the investigation unfold and wondering what is going to happen next. And the author does a good job of still keeping the suspense high even though the traditional “killer reveal” isn’t on the table. I really didn’t feel disappointed with the author’s choice in that regard.

Also, the paranormal aspect is fairly light, which keeps the believability high. I could see many Idas out there, watching life pass by with all its secrets and stories. And that’s the key to a good thriller like this: making the reader believe this could really happen.

In the end, that paranormal element allows for all the pieces to be put together and provide some closure in a neat way.

Based on the subtitle, the author intends to make a series of books about Jane and Ida’s unique relationship. I look forward to the next in the series.
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Loved this book! Great crime story with interesting characters and storyline. Definitely recommend.
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Jane Harper has left the police force in San Francisco hoping for a quieter life on the police department in Hope’sPeak, North Carolina. Unfortunately she doesn’t get her wish, as a body is found in a cornfield with a crown of vines around her head. Jane and her new partner Stu resolve to catch the killer but the local police station is involved in a scandal that hinders their investigation. When they meet Ida Lane they realize that Ida May hold the key to the killers identity. Ida is still tortured by her own mothers murder years before and has vowed not to use any of her special gifts ever again. But if the killer is to be stopped Ida must put aside her fears and work with Jane and Stu. Readers will learn the identity of the killer halfway through the story so this book is more a thriller than a puzzle
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This mystery was a really good read. It wasn't a who done it as it was clear who the killer was . What wasn't clear was when or if he would get caught. I found myself getting irritated with the way that Jane treated Stu. Being hot and then cold towards him . I will say that I did not see that ending and part of me was upset. I would definitely recommend this book.
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