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Saving Grace is the first installment of the Taylor Sinclair series created by Wendy Hewlett.
Taylor has spent most of her life on the streets. Her mother died when she was young, living her alone with her sister, Leila, brutally killed when she was still a teen. That heinous crime haunted Taylor’s life and when her sister’s killer evades prison, she knows exactly where to find him. She goes straight to Gray Rowan’s house, a successful writer that managed to escape Ralph Morse’s – the same man that had killed Leila - captivity when she was younger.
After spending so many years on the streets and running from foster homes, she suddenly finds herself a home and an unexpected friendship with the woman she has idolized for years. However, Taylor’s past keeps haunting her and the only way to come to terms with it is to learn how to trust others and let them help her. It’s not an easy journey but she’ll have people that love her and care for her help her in every step of the way.
I have to admit, I thought this book would be a lot more focused on the police investigation than it actually did. I really enjoyed the first third of the book because it was a lot more focused on it. I even liked the fact that Taylor got to take part in the investigation and that we got to see that she was actually a natural and could be excellent in this line of work.
However, as the story progressed it changed a little and it became a lot more centered on Taylor and her past. I liked it because it was a way of getting to know her a little better and understand her behavior but it almost made me forget that this was a mystery novel. There was still an investigation going on but there weren’t as many details, or at least, the story wasn’t so focused on it like in the beginning. However, towards the ending of the book, it got really gripping and we got to follow the investigation a little more closely.
I really enjoyed Taylor and Gray’s relationship and the way they bonded. They supported each other and Gray helped Taylor a lot, not only by giving her a home and – basically – a family, but also by trying to make her move on with her life. However, I think their relationship developed a little too quickly to make it believable. I think it should have been a little more gradual and not so instantaneous. Having said that, I believe that Taylor and Chris’ relationship was more “real” because it seemed more like the way a person with Taylor’s past would react to someone she had never met before.
As for the characters in general, even though they were all well written, my favorites were, by far, Taylor and Chris. They had really strong personalities and stood out among the others. Some of the other characters felt a little too passive but that didn’t happen with them; they were go getters, they were smart and determined but also very protective of one another.
Finally, I should also say that even though this book had an interesting and compelling story, it felt a little too long and I couldn't shake the feeling that it could have been told in fewer pages. It started to get a little repetitive in little things (too many scenes in the kitchen and talk about getting coffee or tea) and some of the characters’ reactions and things they said were too recurring and predictable.
Overall I give this book 3 out of 4 stars. I think this was a great start to a series that shows a lot of promise. It has a great story, great characters and a great pace. However, I don’t think this is a light read because it deals with really heavy issues - such as child abuse - but I believe that Wendy Hewlett did a great job in the way she addressed them.
A mystery novel that is definitely worth checking out and I would recommended it to any fan of this genre.
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