Always Time to Die by Elizabeth Lowell

 

Suspense

Romance Always Time to Die by Elizabeth Lowell Always Time to DieAnn Maxwell, Elizabeth Lowell; William Morrow 2005WorldCatAn elderly New Mexico woman hires genealogist Carly May to research her family. Her sister was the wife of the newly deceased senator of New Mexico. The same sister had a stroke around 40 years earlier and has lived in a vegetative state since, cared for by her sister. Their son is now the governor of New Mexico and a presidential hopeful. Winifred Castillo Simmons hires Carly May to research the female side of the family, not the powerful male Quintrell side of the family.

Dan Duran is home in the small New Mexico town convalescing from a “climbing” accident. He won’t tell his family that he was shot in Columbia trying to slow down the drug trade. He also is on duty trying to get hard proof of what the whole town knows. The Sandoval family is one of the largest drug smugglers along the border, with both Mexican and Columbian connections. The Castillo, Quintrell and Sandoval families have been mixed together in that area of the country for hundreds of years. It didn’t matter who was the political government of the area. The families and traditions remain. The late senator was Dan’s great-grandfather although his mother won’t talk about “that evil man”.

Within a day or two of living at the Quintrell ranch, Carly starts receiving threats. Dan knows this woman is in deeper than she realizes. He is attracted to her and immediately starts protecting her. After she receives a death threat on a private telephone line, he pulls her out of the Quintrell home and stays with her while she does her genealogical research. Someone does not want the Castillo and Quintrell family history examined. Who? And Why?

Elizabeth Lowell has become an expert at writing the romantic suspense novel. Always Time to Die is fast paced with lots of twists. The heat between Dan and Carly is immediate and satisfies the romantic at heart. The mystery is well thought through and crafted. There are surprises that hold through until the very end. There are clues throughout that point to the antagonist but do not reveal a thing.

There are some story lines that are started, then ignored. Carly had been an abandoned baby who was adopted by loving, older parents. The early part of the novel indicated there would be more to her story, but it is dropped about half way through. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is another story in the saga that includes the Sandoval family more. The governor’s son sounds like he is going to be part of the story but disappears within the first few chapters.

The family texture of this novel is deep and interwoven. The deceased senator had every woman he could throughout his lifetime, leaving Winifred Castillo Simmons bitter for her sister. The senator’s legitimate son, the governor, has always had his eyes on the political game and has behaved in a manner to gain votes and confidence. When his father dies, his first business is to sell off the ranch that has been in the family for more than 300 years. It will fund his presidential campaign. The family history means nothing to him. Nobody knows for certain how many illegitimate children the senator may have had. Even Carly’s expertise in genealogy will never discover that. But she uncovers some very uncomfortable family secrets of the Quintrell/Castillo families.This suspense novel keeps the reader wrapped in the story. .

Notice: Non-graphic violence, Strong sexual content

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