3 out of 4 stars
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Liza Boone’s older sister, Faith, was raped and left for dead, leaving her with a severe brain injury and unable to communicate. Her rapist had assaulted other women, but none of them survived. He has not been apprehended, although Liza has never stopped searching for him. Liza keeps having nightmares in which she is reliving her sister’s dreadful experience, except Liza is now the victim. She can’t ignore the feeling that Faith is showing her this to try to help her find the rapist.
A couple of days after Liza completed her police training courses, her parents were killed in an auto accident, leaving her to take care of Faith. Liza moved to a small town in Florida and worked as a detective in the police department there to have less stress and spend more time with her sister. She acquired a new partner, Grey, who is good at what he does but is gruff and difficult to work with.
A male body was discovered with his genitals missing. He had burn marks from a Taser and puncture wounds, suggesting he had been drugged. Liza and Grey are given the case. Shortly afterward, a second male body was found in a similar condition. A few days later, a female body was encountered with the same Taser marks and puncture wounds. Her breasts had been removed. It definitely looks as if there is a serial killer involved. An FBI profiler, Nash, is called in to help with the investigation. There is a strong attraction between him and Liza, but she isn’t interested in a relationship. Will the murderer be apprehended before they strike again? Will Liza find Faith’s attacker?
Memories Never Die by Leslie Hachtel jumps right into the action at the start with the first murder. The story is narrated from the third-person point of view, at times told from Liza’s perspective and at other times from Nash’s perspective. The author’s prose is descriptive and easy to understand, and the protagonists are believable, likable, and well developed.
The author solicited Umatilla Chief of Police Adam Bolton’s help in making this realistic. I think this is apparent. Unlike many TV shows, the book displays how you have to work your way through each clue, interviewing people, and investigating every angle to find the perpetrator. Having said that, the story still moves at a lively pace and is never boring. In fact, I had difficulty putting the book down until I finished reading it. The plot is my favorite aspect of the novel.
Another favorite of mine is the author’s descriptive ability. For example, “Inside the makeshift barrier was just what she would expect of a dirty alley, complete with faded and filthy brick walls, cracked pavement and swirls of dust and scattered leaves. Garbage cans, trash scattered about. The sour smell of urine and vomit.” Readers can picture exactly what she is describing.
Several steamy sex scenes were encountered in the book as well as profanity and violence. Therefore, it is not recommended for children or anyone sensitive to those things.
My least favorite part of the book was Liza’s inability to recognize some of the clues right in front of her. Being a detective, I thought she would soon use her resources to investigate a certain person of interest. Not wanting to provide a spoiler, I won’t say more. This was not enough to warrant removing a star for, though.
However, I encountered several punctuation and grammatical errors. Unfortunately, there were too many to receive a perfect score. It could use another round of editing.
Because I genuinely enjoyed this thrilling mystery, it achieves a rating of three out of four stars. One star was removed due to the errors. I enthusiastically recommend it to readers of mysteries, crime dramas, and romance novels.
Memories Never Die
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