What She Never Said, Santa Barbara Suspense #2, by Catharine Riggs
ISBN: 9781542042130 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781721356669 (audiobook)
ISBN: B07VZND54P (Audible audiobook)
ASIN: B07GDG2BT5 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: September 10, 2019
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
People are dying at a luxury retirement community . . . and not from natural causes.
Ruth Mosby is the VP of operations at Serenity Acres, where the privileged elite go to die. For a hefty fee, wealthy retirees can live the good life in this posh Santa Barbara community—even after they outlive their money. Ruth thinks this is a fine arrangement, but the savvy new boss has a new rule: if you can’t pay, you can’t stay.
Ruth is deeply disturbed when destitute residents start dying at an alarming rate, as if on cue. Even more troubling, a macabre note accompanies each departed guest. Surviving guests whisper about an “Angel” who assists with suicides. Ruth has another word for it: murder.
Ruth enlists her neighbor, an ex-detective named Zach, to discover the Angel’s secret identity. However, the two have a painful history, and Ruth has dark secrets all her own. To solve the mystery, Ruth must descend from her golden tower—but can she bear the consequences of revealing her own sinister truths?
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Ruth Mosby and Zach Richards have been friends and neighbors for more than 30 years. Zach bore witness to Ruth’s divorce, her son’s gradual decline into depression and drugs, and the tenuous relationship Ruth has had with her adult children. Ruth witnessed the tragic loss of Zach’s only child, the death of his wife by suicide, his battle with alcoholism, and the eventual loss of his job with the local police department. The years have impacted them both in very different ways. Zach is relatively laid back and able to see all sides of an issue without prejudice. Ruth has become very rigid and structured in her life, adhering to the rules above all else. The one shining light in Ruth’s life is her job at Serenity Acres, but now that seems to be in jeopardy when her boss retires, a coworker is promoted above her, the company is sold, and the elderly that were put in the company’s care appear to be murdered by an “angel of mercy.” Ruth is at a loss at how to deal with her new boss, the new company and their new rules, her son’s reappearance in her life. Then Zach gets hired as security at Serenity and then talks her into getting her son, Adam, hired on to work in the kitchens. All seems well until another murder takes place and both Adam and Zach have something to hide. Can their secrets be any worse than the secret that Ruth and Zach have been hiding for years? Can Ruth and Zach protect their secrets, protect Adam, and uncover the identity of the “angel of mercy” before it’s too late for them all?
I initially found What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs to be a bit of slow read or at least slow-paced read for me simply because it took me quite some time to get invested in the action and characters. Of course, I was also dealing with a series of migraine headaches at the time and my sleep patterns where completely out-of-whack, so I don’t know if that had anything to do with it or not (we’ll presume it did). This story is presented from the perspective of Ruth Mosby, Zach Richards, and the Angel. I rather enjoyed the chapters dealing with Zach and the Angel’s perspectives but struggled with Ruth simply because I found her to be hyper-critical, judgmental, and not a very likable character. Normally that doesn’t bother me, but for some reason, I had issues with Ruth. However, once I hit about the halfway point in the story, my reading seemed to pick up the pace and I began to empathize a bit with Ruth. She isn’t a mean-spirited person, simply someone that’s struggling with guilt and it manifests in a strange way – her rigidly adhering to the rules (trust me when you read the book, this will all make sense). There are so many themes discussed in this story, elder care, assisted suicide, drug addiction, the many facets and presentations of depression, family drama, workplace drama, and, of course, murder and suspense. After reading What She Never Said, which can be read as a stand-alone although it is part of a series, I’ve added What She Gave Away to my TBR list. I encourage you to add What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs to your TBR list, especially if you’re a fan of suspense stories featuring family angst and drama.
Catharine Riggs lives and writes on California’s central coast. Before her dive into thrillers, Riggs worked as a business banker, adjunct college instructor, and a nonprofit executive. What She Never Said is the second novel in her loosely linked Santa Barbara Suspense series. The first, What She Gave Away, was published by Thomas & Mercer in September of 2018.
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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Catharine Riggs. There will be 4 winners. Two (2) winners will each receive one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card and Two (2) winners will each receive one (1) print copy of What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs. The giveaway begins on August 18, 2019, and runs through September 22, 2019. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.
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