Absolute Fear by Lisa Jackson
Eve Renner knows it is time to return to New Orleans even though she isn’t completely healed. She was shot when meeting her friend Roy who called for help. The only things she remembers is finding the body and seeing her lover outside with a pistol aimed at her, shooting. He betrayed her.
Cole Dennison swears he didn’t kill Eve’s friend nor did he shoot her. But after all these months in jail and hearing the results from Eve’s lab tests, he wants to get to her. She betrayed him. He is finally released for lack of evidence the same day Eve returns to New Orleans.
As soon as Eve is on the road, she realizes she is being followed by a dark pick up truck. But she can’t be certain if she is really being followed or if they happen to be on the same journey by accident. He disappears after she stops to take a break. Instead, she finds a sheaf of newspaper clippings in glove compartment that weren’t there when she started off that morning.
Despite the restraining order against him, Cole has to find Eve. Instead he finds her father, murdered using the same method used to kill Roy. Someone is trying to set him up – again. He calls 911 and gets away before the police arrive. Then he goes to Even’s house and discovers she is there. He is glad he can tell her about her father before the police can.
The mystery seems to have connections to Eve’s childhood. Her parents adopted her as a baby. Her father was the head psychiatrist at Our Lady of Virtues Mental Hospital. The asylum has since closed but has scandal and another murder connected with its memories. The newspaper clippings are about the murdered woman from 20 years earlier.
When more people are murdered who had connections with the murdered woman or Our Lady of Virtues Mental Hospital, Eve is sure she’s on the list of victims yet to come. Cole is back, trying to make her believe he wants what is best for her. The police are trying to protect her. And her newly discovered half sister wants to get to know her. Who can Eve trust? And how is she connected to the events from 20 years ago when she was still a child?
Lisa Jackson has written a tense romantic suspense that is chilling and keeps the reader’s interest. There is a serial killer, but this killer has a small pool of victims. They are all related in some aspect to the mental asylum and the murdered woman. At times the reader gets glimpses into the killer’s head. They add to the shivery tone of Absolute Fear.
The romance is predictable – Eve and Cole have no reason and every reason to trust each other. Because of the genre, the reader knows that they will survive and fall into each other’s arms. That doesn’t mean all the people around them will make it, though, including those close to them. New Orleans gives this a murky setting as well, so the tone is dark but still edgy. I didn’t want to put the book down the further into it I got.
Be prepared for this book. It’s not a light read although easy to stay with. If you’re not in the mood for dark chilling danger, avoid this one.
Notice: Explicit sexual content, Graphic violence