Dangerous Passage by Lisa Harris
Revell, 1st September, 2013

When two Jane Does are killed on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia, detective and behavioral specialist Avery North discovers they share something in common–a tattoo of a magnolia on their shoulders. Suspecting a serial killer, Avery joins forces with medical examiner Jackson Bryant to solve the crimes and prevent another murder. But it doesn’t take long for them to realize that there is much more to the case than meets the eye. As they venture deep into a sinister world of human trafficking, Avery and Jackson are taken to the very edge of their abilities–and their hearts.

Dangerous Passage exposes a fully-realized and frightening world where every layer peeled back reveals more challenges ahead. Romantic suspense fans will be hooked from the start by Lisa Harris’s first installment of the new Southern Crimes series.

This book is right up my alley – contemporary, suspense, romance, mystery, a bit of action – what’s not to like? There was stuff to like and stuff to leave with this book. It was good but not great. It took a while to get going, I was about 40% through it when it started to pick up pace and get really interesting. For the most part, in the first half of the book, there is a lot going on (almost too much at times) and I feel exhausted for Avery with such a heavy work/family life. The workload of her life leaves her so burdened with everything that it got in the way of really liking her as a character. There was no room for her to breathe and thus I felt I didn’t know her really. Plus, the woman on the book cover kept reminding me of the actress Christina Ricci and that just seemed to be a stumbling block for me for most of the book!

Avery’s family is a little confusing (too many people) and her work colleagues suffer from the same problem. Her relationship with Jackson though was nice. I liked how the book started with these two already interested in each other, having been on one date. It made their budding romance more real. I liked the struggle they had, especially Avery with figuring out how to put Jackson in her already too full life and did she really want him there? These two came across as real busy people, wanting to make a relationship work. I found them to be a nice touch in the book and would have liked more time for them to hang out etc. But with Avery so busy, that didn’t really happen either.

As for the mystery, when the book finally picked up pace, so did the mystery and from about 40% onwards I raced through the book, wanting to know how it would end and was happy with the ending.

So overall, whilst not  a great book, it will please many fans of the Christian, suspense genre.

 Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this novel for review.  I was in no way obliged to give a positive review.