Seconds to Live (Scarlet Falls Book 3) by Melinda Leigh (2016)
Wildlife biologist Mac Barrett avoided his hometown of Scarlet Falls for years—too many bad memories. But when he receives the news that his father is dying, he rushes home only to discover he’s too late. Shaken, Mac retreats to his remote cabin seeking peace and solace. Instead, he crashes his jeep to narrowly avoid running over the naked body of a woman lying in the road. Even more disturbing, when he regains consciousness, the body is gone.
Police detective Stella Dane wants to believe Mac, even if his story about the vanishing body seems far-fetched. But when Mac’s description matches the missing woman she’s been searching for, it raises a disturbing question: How does a dead body disappear?
Mac and Stella will have to work together to find the answer and catch a psychotic kidnapper—and quickly. The killer has a deadly message to send, and the case is about to become personal.…
Brilliant. A must read series.
A fast paced, unpredictable and exciting mystery that had me reading into the wee hours. There was so much action in this book it had be glued the entire way.
What I appreciated most about Seconds to Live was how the author didn't include the usual gender stereotypes that plague the genre; Stella isn't a victim, she is a strong woman working a dangerous job and is in charge of the investigation. I really loved the fact that there wasn't a race against time for Mac to save Stella from the evil bad guy in the closing chapters. Also she didn't give up her dangerous job in order to have babies and get married at the end of the book.
There were plenty of suspects to keep me guessing and the non stop action and suspense kept me entertained right to the nail-biting end.
There is a good romantic subplot to the story and I was glad that there wasn't a need for pages of erotic scenes included as a source of filler for a weak plot or to tick a box pushed by a publisher.
This book is easily read as a stand alone but it is so good I feel the need to read the previous books in the series.
The author's debut novel, She Can Run, was a #1 Kindle bestseller in Romantic Suspense, a 2011 Best Book Finalist in The Romance Reviews, and a nominee for the 2012 International Thriller Award for Best First Book. She is also a three-time Daphne du Maurier Award finalist and the winner of the Golden Leaf Award.
Seconds to Live is available in paperback, Kindle and Audio format. It is also available on Kindle Unlimited.