Blue Sage by Anne Stuart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book has an interesting and unique premise. Charles Tanner, Sr. was a war veteran who, suffering from PTSD, went ballistic one day, killed sixteen innocent people and badly wounded a young girl, and then killed himself. Fifteen years later, his son Charles Tanner, Jr. comes back to Morey's Fall, the small town his father almost destroyed. He and his mother had been long gone when his father went nuts but, bearing the same name as his father, Tanner had to live with the burden of his father's doings all his life and it's high time he tried to understand the reasons behind his father's killing spree and, maybe, get some sense in his own life. Naturally, the 1st person Tanner meets when he reaches Morey's Fall is Ellie Lundquist, who happens to be the young girl who survived his father's massacre. And from this moment on, there's no turning back for either of them...
What can I say about this book? I loved it! It wasn't a "nice and cozy" read - not that I expected it to be, with a premise like that - but it grabbed me from the start and I found myself rooting for Tanner and Ellie. They were both wounded, in different ways, by what had happened fifteen years in the past, and it was only fitting they would help each other heal and move on. Granted, Tanner was downright cruel to Ellie a couple of times and I even flinched at his harsh words, but I understood why he did it and, in the end, it was for her own good. Simply put, he wasn't going to let her keep her martyr/victim act any longer. Enough was enough, and she needed to snap out of it! And so she did. :)
The mystery/suspense part of the story kept me guessing till the end. I wasn't surprised by the villain's identity, but I admit it wasn't who I was betting on. I never think it's the most obvious choice but, in this case, it was. I have nothing to complain, though. As usual, Mrs. Stuart's writing was compelling enough to keep me glued to the pages.
This was "only" my seventh book by Mrs. Stuart, and I'm happy to say it's another winner. A must-read, IMHO.
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