Genre: Romantic Suspense.
The Blurb: Fifteen years ago a young Colorado Springs police officer arrested a teen runaway accused of aiding a convenience store robbery and attempted murder. She was innocent, but still served prison time briefly. Her testimony sent the real thief to jail for much longer. Now she’s a young widow raising a son, and the man she put in prison is free and seeking revenge. She moves to a home in a new neighborhood—then learns that her next-door neighbor is the by-the-book officer who arrested her. Now he’s a Colorado Springs P.D. Lieutenant. Like it or not, he may be the only one who can protect her and her son from the past he helped create.
The Review: Donnell Bell tells a fascinating romantic suspense story, forcing two of the most unlikely characters together. Mel (Melanie) Norris is trying to forget her past by concentrating on her future, while dealing with being a widow with a teenage son. She is always looking over her shoulder, especially when she learns a man she sent to prison fifteen years ago, has served his time and is due to be released. Lt. Joe Crandall is a dedicated police officer, also struggling to be a single dad.
To quote Casablanca “Of all the gin joints in the world, you had to walk into mine.” This is what I found to be the premise for The Past Came Hunting, since Mel Norris buys her first house on her own, in a new city, next door to the cop who arrested her fifteen years ago.
- Does Joe write her off as an ex-con who can’t be trusted? Especially, when his son and her’s form an immediate bond over basketball?
- Can Mel forgive the man who chased her down, tackled her, threw her in jail, and never believed a word about her innocence?
This is delicious conflict, which played beautifully throughout an unlikely love story.
Through Ms. Bell’s talent for story telling, Joe and Mel’s slow but steady path to love was both believable and engaging. I love heroes like Joe, and Mel was definitely a likeable heroine. Family issues such as a deceased spouse, an ex-wife, and teenage rebellion were realistically and satisfyingly dealt with. The supporting cast of police officers and gang
members were well crafted, and it is apparent that Ms. Bell did solid research on police procedurals.
The suspense portion of the story is believable and especially riveting during the last quarter of the book–where Mel held her own and Joe frantically did his part as her ally, by working in tandem to save the day. I could not put the book down!
Until next week, make it a great one!