Every Breath She Takes
I admit it: I almost dreaded reading Every Breath She Takes because I really did not like the only other book I’ve read by Suzanne Forster. I thought the heroine of that one was too stupid to live, and I was afraid this would be more of the same. Well… I hate being wrong, darn it! This book was really good.
Carlie Bishop is a personal safety consultant and best-selling author and is well-respected in her field. She has a presidential appointment and runs a therapy group for women. She is also the sister of a stalking victim and the daughter of a Supreme Court Justice. Rio Walker is a policeman investigating a string of murders by someone the press has named the Femme Fatale – she stalks stalkers. Rio decides that Carlie fits the profile of the Femme Fatale, and this is where our story takes off.
Carlie is a tough woman. She stands up for better legal protection for women and teaches women how to defend themselves. Her self defense teachings reminded me of the ones in Gift of Fear (by Gavin DeBecker) a self-defense book that I read. Carlie was devastated when her sister was killed by a stalker, and the tragedy of her sister’s murder propelled Carlie into her career. Carlie also has secrets, and her secrets lead Rio to suspect her.
Rio knew Carlie’s sister intimately, but he keeps this secret from Carlie. He thinks the death of Carlie’s sister may have turned her into the Femme Fatale and gets close to Carlie to try to find out the truth.
Rio works by some sort of intuitiveness that is hard to explain or understand. This intuitiveness is what leads him to Carlie as a suspect. I have to admit this unexplainable intuitiveness of Rio’s is where I stumbled a bit over the story. Even after I finished this book and looked back on it, it seemed like quite a leap for him to just see Carlie on TV one day, and think, “That’s her.”
It seemed like every character in this book had a secret: Carlie’s assistant, her new client/employee who was also a stalking victim, and Carlie’s mother, who knew something about her daughter’s murder that she didn’t tell anyone. All these secrets didn’t detract from the story, though, they added to it. All the secrets related back to each other in some way, and they were tightly interwoven.
The final revelation was a surprise to me, but I think some of the really astute mystery readers will figure it out. One thing that might have made this a little better for me as a romance is if Carlie and Rio could have been together more when they both trusted each other. Most of the times they were together, one still had suspicions about the other. I do have to admit, though, the attraction between them was palpable, and their love scenes were hot.
Although it is higher in the suspense department than in the romance one, Every Breath She Takes is a romantic suspense novel I can recommend highly, and I know I will probably pick up Suzanne Forster’s next book because I liked this one so much.