Minutes to Kill
Minutes to Kill is the second book in Melinda Leigh’s Scarlet Falls series. In this thriller, attorney Hannah Barrett comes between a hooker and her pimp when she is leaving a work related party at a ritzy Vegas club. Hannah, daughter to a former U.S. Army Ranger colonel, knows how to handle herself in a fight but this time a well timed punch sends her to the hospital with a concussion. Fortunately, she was already planning for vacation time with her family and she heads to Scarlet Falls to dog sit and recuperate while the rest of the clan heads out of town. But Hannah can’t get the young hooker out of her mind. Nor can she resists the wiles of Detective Brody McNamara, who set her blood to boiling the last time she had visited the area and looks to be doing it again this time around.
The positive of the book is the solid romance between Brody and Hannah. The two take ample down time to know each other as the mystery portion of the book slowly builds to a climax. Both characters are mature adults who handle their relationship like grownups and the author does a good job of skillfully showing what draws them to each other. That portion of the book was very well done.
The “mystery” was a big problem in the book for me since there was no real mystery. I knew who the villain was from the start and since this is a romantic suspense, I knew both characters would make it. I felt no tension as the pimp from the start of the novel stalked Hannah and waited for a vulnerable moment. The secondary mystery involving who hired the hookers was equally tension-free.
So a strong romance and weak mystery combined to make the grade a B-.
I've been an avid reader since 2nd grade and discovered romance when my cousin lent me Lord of La Pampa by Kay Thorpe in 7th grade. I currently read approximately 150 books a year, comprised of a mix of Young Adult, romance, mystery, women's fiction, and science fiction/fantasy.