Review: Red on the River by Christine Feehan
This second book in a new suspense series from Ms. Feenhan is a solid must-read for me. Whilst it isn't labeled as a series, this book contains friends from the Murder at Sunrise Lake. In this one, the majority of the book takes place in Vegas. Vienna is our main character who is awesome at winning poker games. Oddly, I just read about a real-life woman who switched over to poker games to make a living and makes a killing at it. This concept intrigues me. The current short blurb on Goodreads doesn't do the book justice. Honestly, I didn't read the blurb until after I read the book. It's Ms. Feehan who is an auto-read for me.
This suspense takes a few twists and turns that I didn't expect. I also didn't make the connection of the title until several chapters into the book. Suffice to say, the river doesn't refer to a body of water no matter the picture on the cover. This aside, I enjoy the connections throughout this story. Instead of heavy angst, sexual abuse, or twisted BDSM as her other current series, this one is almost wholesome with its material. Don't get me wrong, there are some heavy scenes, but they are what I would expect in a good action flick.
Another thing I like about this story is how Vienna is with her group of female friends. The strong friendship between this set of friends is wonderful to see. They are all so different yet they find things they bond over. I'm impressed with the amount of outer athletic adventures they share together. I love reading about their bouldering and kayaking. Inserting these kinds of experiences into the story enhances it for me. It builds layers of kinship amongst the characters and enriches the story for me. Frankly, this story could have been done without a male interest and it might have been an even better tale.
Zale is an unfinished character for me. I get where he is coming from but I'm just not sure why this is a problem for Vienna. Why does she have to deal with his drama and bullshit? Why is his job so much more important than her life and sanity? If there is one thing that bugs me about Ms. Feehan's characters is that for the most part, I find her male characters lacking. I'm not asking for a metrosexual or a mythical renaissance man. I'm asking for a man who can match the amazing woman she's created. I will say that Sam in Murder at Sunrise Lake was pretty decent and matched Stella. Both make a guest appearance in this book as secondary characters. Zale just doesn't seem to have much to give to Vienna. Other than he is great in the sack and Vienna fell for the bad boy and has her heart broken. I am . . . unamused. Zale, aside, this suspense kept me turning page after page until the wee hours of the morning. This suspense is recommended to readers who like strong female bonds and skeletons in the closets brought to light.
* provided by NetGalley