Wrong Place, Wrong Time
Sally Montgomery works for the prestigious Pierson family, exercising some of their horses. When the eldest son, Frederick Pierson, invites her to a cabin for a weekend, she decides to take a chance and finally try to put the marriage that has been over for fifteen years behind her. She doesn’t expect to be unable to take advantage of the romantic opportunity because she’s bombarded with memories of the past. And she certainly doesn’t expect to enter the cabin after a walk, find Frederick dead, and be knocked unconscious. Barely escaping a fire that is set in the cabin, Sally quickly realizes that the killer might know she survived and makes a run for it.
Sally calls her ex husband, cop turned private investigator Pete “Monty” Montgomery while on the run, and he engages their daughter Devon to help him save Sally. They must determine who tried to kill her – and keep her whereabouts a secret. Monty takes Devon on as a partner, even though she’s a veterinarian by trade, and together they infiltrate the Pierson world to find out who the killer could be.
Horse-jumping is a great hobby and enterprise of the Pierson’s, so right off the bat I thought I might enjoy this book. I love horses and enjoy when they’re included in novels. Devon, being a veterinarian, also has a number of dogs. The use of animals in books, much like the use of children, in my opinion should be subtle and relatively unobtrusive, not that they can’t be important characters. Here, the animals became annoying at times and their presence was forced, as if the author remembered that they needed to be there and added them in. There were also a number of unnecessary details and extra sentences associated with them that didn’t add to the story.
Devon meets Blake Pierson during her “investigation”, and they hit it off. Within two weeks he’s asking her to marry him. A hugely successful, probable millionaire, and incredibly handsome guy falls in love and wants to marry…all during the worst two weeks of his life. I’m not saying it couldn’t happen, but it’s not very believable, and the author did nothing to show it. Little relationship development occurs. On the other hand, the one love scene was intense, but oddly written. Some fairly unbelievable dialogue made their unbelievable relationship all the more difficult to swallow.
The mystery portion of the suspense is multi-faceted and well done; all the involved layers make it difficult to determine who is guilty of what crime, and which characters are working in concert. Unfortunately, the big reveal spoiled it. All of a sudden everyone spilled their guts, shared their motives, feelings for other characters, and how they pulled things off. Everything was completely and utterly tied up, the bow was formed, and then pulled perhaps a touch too tight.
There was a lot to take on faith here, and I’m a reader who likes her books to be convincing. While the drama of the mystery keeps you on your toes and guessing to the end, the romance between Devon and Blake didn’t do it for me. Add a perfectly pat ending, and you have an average read.