Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Audrey J. Cole and her novel Viable Hostage.
Author’s description of the book:
Malorie’s best friend is missing, but no one seems concerned about the wayward medical student’s mysterious disappearance—until another student’s partial remains wash ashore a Seattle beach…
When Malorie witnesses her best friend and roommate leave a campus bar with a mystery date driving a silver Mercedes, she suspects foul play, especially when Lani fails to return home the next day. Both women, med students in their final year at Elliott Bay University, have a lot riding on the line, but due to Lani’s wild past, no one in her family is worried. When Malorie’s fears for her roommate deepen, she turns to her Uncle Wade, a Sergeant at Seattle Homicide.
Within 48 hours after Lani goes missing, the partial remains of a brutally murdered young woman wash up on Alki Beach, and a human hand is found in a crab pot off Bainbridge Island. When one of the bodies is identified as a pregnant, fourth-year medical student, Wade believes there’s a connection with Lani’s disappearance. And, that they might be looking for a serial killer.
Malorie suspects Lani’s kidnapper is someone they know, possibly even one of their professors at the university, a prominent Seattle anesthesiologist whose wife is the president of EBU. But when Detective Blake Stephenson discovers evidence that links another suspect to the professor’s Mercedes, he and Wade must act fast to attempt a wild rescue in the middle of Puget Sound.
About the Author:
Viable Hostage Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/Viable-Hostage-Emerald-City-Thriller-ebook/dp/B07XB3HG5V
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Audrey-J-Cole/e/B071GFZMLT/
This is a tidy, fast-paced medical crime novel sure to please fans of this genre.
What I liked best:
- I love reading books in which the author knows her subject matter well. Ms. Cole clearly brings a lot of medical expertise to her writing, and a knowledge of the Seattle area to this novel.
- The book is well-paced. It moves seamlessly from crime to solution and delivers enough of the unexpected to be satisfying.
- There is a diverse and interesting cast of characters, and a quite likeable main character.
- Multiple points of view (particularly that of the killer) are done well, and provide suspense without giving away the ending.
What I struggled with:
- Some of this novel is downright grisly and I happen to be a reader who shies away from such things. In fact, I’m so squeamish I don’t even want to hear about medical details. So, while I admire Ms. Cole’s expertise, the book and I were not a good fit. I’d steer those of my ilk away from it.
- I felt the book would have benefited from more character development in general, and especially more depth surrounding the main character. She appears to be a fascinating young medical student, yet we learn almost nothing about her other than her devotion to her missing friend.
I do, however, recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys stories that live at the intersection of solving crimes and of performing medical research. I think this is a tough place to write with both accuracy and suspense, and Ms. Cole is to be commended for doing both.
Yes there is a giveaway:
Audrey J. Cole will award a randomly drawn winner a $15 Amazon/BN GC.
This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish.
Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.
My favorite excerpt:
There was something evil in the way he had looked at her. He was dangerous. Psychotic. Malorie could see it in his eyes. Those cold, dark eyes. He was chasing her.
Malorie ran faster, with so much adrenaline she didn’t feel the ache in her legs or the burn in her lungs as she gasped for air. She could feel him getting closer. Hear the sound of his boots scrape against the pavement behind her. He’s going to kill me.
She felt him close in behind her. A sharp pain ripped through her arm as he grabbed her and drew her close to him with tremendous strength. Malorie opened her mouth to scream as she was awakened by the sound of her alarm.
She wasn’t being chased. She was in Lani’s room. She sat up in her roommate’s bed, sweating through her t-shirt and breathing hard.
She silenced her alarm, flooded simultaneously with relief that it was just a dream and the familiar dread that her best friend was missing and possibly never coming back.
A personal note:
Why did I pick this book to review? Well, my own book One of One is about a young woman who is taken hostage and rescued by women who care about her. I’m always looking for kindred spirits, writing-wise, and this seemed to be about something similar. Cool, I thought.
Even though the book didn’t quite turn out to be about what I thought, I do think it is good to get out of your comfort zone and read different types of things.
Also, I received a free electronic copy of this book, which would never be enough to make me write a better review for anyone.