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Home Before Midnight Paperback – May 27, 2017
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About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra is the author of more than twenty-five books of contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense. Her stories have earned numerous awards including Romance Writers of America's RITA Award, nine RITA nominations, and two National Readers' Choice Awards.
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Paul and his wealthy wife Helen decided to move back to Stokesville, North Carolina, the same small town Bailey left to seek the career advantages of New York. Bailey had not found time to work on her novel, and it wasn't ready for a publicist. Paul told her that her novel wasn't ready to remit. Paul broke the news to Bailey that he is writing a new book about the Dawler killings that happened nineteen-years ago in Stokesville. Paul asked Bailey for her help in writing this book. He convinced Bailey that helping him with the research would be valuable opportunity for her. I empathized with Bailey. She's a kind-hearted person who treats everyone with kindness.
Paul insists that Bailey move in with him and his wife Helen at their mansion. Bailey moved into another part of the house. Bailey went down stairs about midnight to get some ice-cream, and then she was going to sit by the pool. When Bailey turned on the flood lights, she saw Helen floating seemingly unconscious in the pool. She yelled for Paul to call 911. Bailey jumped in the pool and pulled Helen out, then tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate her.
Lieutenant Steve Burke suspects Bailey and Paul of killing Helen. Steve is the lead detective on the case. Helen's death wasn't an accident. She didn't slip and fall. Helen was struck with a heavy blunt object behind the head that caused bleeding. Steve became attracted to Bailey once she was cleared as a suspect. He will try to pursue her later.
I liked Bailey and Steve. They were wonderful characters and very easy to like. A secondary character, Steve's daughter Gabrielle, is a sweetheart. Steve is a widower whose wife died three years earlier. He left DC homicide to go back to Stokesville, North Carolina. He wanted a better life for his daughter, and for her to be near his family and raised in a small town. Another secondary character, Helen's daughter Regan, played a distasteful role. Regan turned me off.
Home Before Midnight was suspenseful. Virginia Kantra did a superb job with the romance between Bailey and Steve. Virginia was also skillful in how she entwined the romance with a heart-stopping thriller.
Bailey Wells left her hometown of Stokesville, North Carolina to hit it big in the literary world. She returns several years later, not as a successful author, but as an assistant to a true crime writer. Paul Ellis has returned to his wife's hometown to write a book about a gruesome crime that happened over 20 years ago when a 16 year old boy killed his grandmother, his mother, and his sister. They never could have guessed the lengths someone would go to keep the secret of what really happened that night.
When Paul's wife, Helen, turns up dead in their pool, Detective Steve Burke immediately suspects Bailey. He can see that there is something going on between Bailey and Paul and he is surprised by the dissapointment he feels. The more Burke interviews Bailey and Paul, the more he likes Bailey and the less he likes Paul. Soon it becomes clear that there is more at play than just the murder of Helen Stokes-Ellis.
While I absolutely loved the book, the reason I gave it four stars was because it was never made clear who actually killed Helen. I felt like the author killed Helen off specifically so Burke and Bailey could meet, then just let that storyline dribble away with no real resolution to what happened. Aside from that, the relationship between Bailey and Burke and Burke and his daughter, Gabrielle was fabulous.
I definitely recommend this book!
However, instead of a welcome homecoming, Bailey finds the murdered body of Helen floating in the pool of their new home. Local police detective, widower and single father of a preadolescent daughter Gabrielle, Steve Burke heads the investigation, but he immediately notices that Bailey is attracted to her employer as she tries to protect him. Though he wants Bailey, Steven remains professional as she is one of the two prime suspects, the spouse being the other, in what looks increasingly like a crime of passion. Unbeknownst to either of the pair someone wants the truth involving a 1987 homicide to remain buried and if more must die so be it.
HOME BEFORE MIDNIGHT is an entertaining small town police procedural amateur sleuth tale though some might quiver that Bailey is a pro with her research into criminology. The story line is filled with action, but is driven by the triangular relationship between the author, the cop, and the researcher. The whodunit is cleverly developed to insure that Bailey and Paul are the prime suspects, which leads to Steve struggling to control his desire for the woman. Fans will enjoy Virginia Kantra's fine regional romantic mystery.
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The dream Bailey Wells had for becoming a writer was put on hold when she took a job with the famous true crime author Paul Ellis.Read more