Title – Beneath the Surface
Author – Lynn H. Blackburn
Genre – Romantic Suspense
Publisher – Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group
Photo downloaded from the Publisher’s website
About the Author
Lynn H. Blackburn is the author of Hidden Legacy and Covert Justice and winner of the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense and the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel. Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She lives in Simpsonville, South Carolina, with her true love, Brian, and their three children.
About the Book
She thought she’d be safe when she moved back home. She was dead wrong.
After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston needed a change. She thought she’d left her troubles behind when she moved home to Carrington, North Carolina, and took a job in the emergency department of the local hospital. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her down and reaches out to her high school friend turned homicide investigator, Ryan Parker, for help.
Ryan finds satisfaction in his career, but his favorite way to use his skills is as a volunteer underwater investigator with the Carrington County Sheriff’s Office dive team. When the body of a wealthy businessman is discovered in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer – one with a terrifying connection to Leigh Weston and deadly implications for them all.
This book is the first book in the Dive Team Investigation Series. And while it does focus on the Dive Team, there’s significantly less “diving investigations” than what I would have expected, having read the back cover and all. But I do understand why this is, seeing as the hero was only a volunteer on the Dive Team and it wasn’t his actual job. Also, the rest of the story forces him to investigate multiple homicide cases and so he doesn’t have time for more diving. The homicide cases are covered in secrets and mysteries; it’s thrilling to join the investigator team, the forensic agents, and other police officers as they uncover bit by bit of this murder series.
One reason I chose this book was because I read that the main character (protagonist) is working in a hospital. I love all stories hospital. I think hospitals are intriguing and the perfect place to cover and uncover secrets.
From the back cover of the book, I knew I could expect a car crash in the story at some point. Normally, with little smidgens of informations like this I’d totally be able to tell when this would happen, but not in this book. The crash came at a totally unexpected time, and I appreciated that. There were some other things that I knew were obviously bound to happen, but they always happened when I least expected it. I guess that’s one (good) difference between suspense and straight up romance fiction.
Minor facets I enjoyed:
• While the plot focuses on multiple homicide attempts and discovery of dead bodies, it’s not “scary” in a horror film kind of way. The plot fits the genre 100%; it’s “I have to know what happens next”, but not “I’ll have nightmares tonight” which is perfect for the suspense genre.
• The romantic part wasn’t a major part; it was skillfully entwined into the plot and it was an important role, but it didn’t overshadow the mission part of the story.
• The story felt even more real when the protagonist questioned why God was allowing this to happen to her life. I mean, if you found yourself in recurring situations where it was obvious you were the target to kill, you’d also question why, I’m sure.
• There was a minor character, Rebecca, that appeared only a handful of times in short scenes, but yet had a major impact on the plot. I loved this. (I just got the feeling that Rebecca’s story could make a whole book on its own.)
• Frankly, I found the secondary main character’s (who is also the hero in this story) name amusing, because it’s the same name I sometimes used when I wrote short stories.
One thing that I could not relate to was that the protagonist refused to go to a hotel or another safe place when it became clear her life was in danger. She did abstain from attending her yoga class, not wanting to endanger the lives of others, but refused to take higher measure for her own protection. Fortunately I’ve never found myself in a situation like this, or even a remotely similar one, but if I imagine myself in one, I know I’d flee the country if I knew someone was out there trying to take my life.
It was interesting to learn more about investigator departments and nurse practitioner lives. I thought I knew stuff already from watching cop shows but when reading, there are always details I notice that I might not have caught on film.
All in all, great book. Very entertaining, descriptive, clear, and easy to read.