Taken By Trouble by Charley Colins

Taken By Trouble by Charley ColinsAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Mystery/Suspense

Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

It’s not every day a girl takes out the trash and is nearly run over for it, but that’s exactly what happens to Sara Livingston. Manager and waitress at a bar, Sara typically spends her days serving drinks and turning up the TV volume on the latest sport’s game, a job that is quite enough to make her mostly liked by all. When she’s dropped into a game of cat and mouse with a stalker, she has no idea who could be behind the wheel of the truck or why they want her flattened on the pavement.

With her private eye brother out of town, she’s relying on her brother’s coworker, Clark Russells, to keep her from eating asphalt.

.

Taking out the trash has never been so dangerous for Sara, who is almost run over doing the simple work chore at her brother’s bar. Turning to her other brothers best friend Clark in his absence to help her find the responsible person, they set out on to investigate occurrences that are slowly getting more severe.

I found that by the end of Taken By Trouble I was torn. The book starts out with Sara almost getting plowed down in the back parking lot of her brothers bar. She eats some pavement in her narrow dive and then manages to hobble back into the relative safety of the bar. She is immediately in the capable care of her brothers best friend and fellow PI, Clark. Though she is resistant at first, as the stalker escalates she finds having Clark hanging around to be a good thing.

My main problem was with the stalker himself and his non-escalation/escalation. The first thing the stalker does is try to run Sara down. Great start and it told me this stalker meant business. However, then everything gets downplayed as teenagers looking to settle a score after not getting served alcohol to protect Saras “jumpiness”…according to what her brother tells Clark. The stalker then makes a couple of pretty friendly phone calls that left a scowl on my face. The calls should have been at least as threatening as Sara acts like they were. I found myself pretty complacent at the hi-jinx of this guy and not at all feeling the tension Sara was. Somewhere around 80% the stalker finally decides to up his game and some real threat is revealed. There is just so much time spent on the investigation, running down leads, ect that I didn’t think the threat was accurately portrayed.

Being used to a certain type of book from Keri Ford, I think I just wanted more. Charley Colins (her alter-ego) writes with more detail, more story, but in the translation I think a bit of the flare is lost. Sara and Clark have a steady heat up to what looks like the beginning of a relationship. There is definitely some heat simmering for them both and yet nothing is resolved by the end. Now I don’t expect there to be tons of sex in a mystery/suspense that isn’t romance oriented but by having the two main characters sleep together you expect there to be some sort of resolution to their story but at the end of Taken By Trouble everything is just left up in the air. They are together/not together and they have feelings for each other but neither voices them. As a reader I was frustrated. There are two more books in this series and I’m positive that by the end of the trilogy readers will get the closure they need.

The process of finding and solving the mystery surrounding Sara’s stalker was a satisfying journey that had me right in the room with the characters. Though tedious at times, I enjoyed the systematic PI process Clark goes through in order to ensure Sara’s safety. I also enjoyed Sara’s mouth and her insistence that she was FINE, even though it was obvious she was not.

Taken By Trouble is a good start to an engaging mystery series featuring a down to earth heroine and tough PI. Together these two make a team that’s easy to watch and like. Colins knows how to hook a reader and keep them coming back for more! Just a good, solid book!

I give Taken By Trouble by Charley Colins 3.50 stars!

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