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Length: 78,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design
Years of grueling police work have left Niall Hamarsson jaded and disillusioned with life…although it’s likely he’s been that way all along. The last straw lands when the DA refuses to try a case Niall worked for years to bring to justice. Within hours he finds himself heading to the only place he’s ever been able to call home—a place he knows he doesn’t belong.
Mat Dempsey returned to Piedras Island after his father’s death. These days he’s Island County’s sheriff. He’s happy enough, even if moving home from San Francisco effectively forced him back into the closet. Mat’s well-ordered universe collapses when a local’s body is discovered floating in the cold waters of Hidden Harbor’s marina. All hell breaks loose in the community, and accusations fly…all coinciding with Niall Hamarsson’s return.Niall and Mat have a history, and it’s not one Mat’s proud of. He owes Niall an apology, even if it means getting down on his knees. However, Mat’s first priority is investigating the murder before his community tears itself apart and he may have to ask the aloof Niall Hamarsson for help.
Push apart, pull together, yes or no... The chemistry crackles between them but will the two men be able to put aside their pasts and embrace a future?
In this latest suspense series, by Elle Keaton, we have ourselves a murder!
Niall Hamarsson is bitter and cynical. After a rather tragic childhood followed by the isolation of his teenage years, Niall left Piedras Island, where his grandparents raised him, to go to college and then the police academy. After more than a decade on the force, Niall is a burnt out homicide detective and ready to walk away from it all. So he does, going back to the island, where he never felt at home or accepted, to try to figure out what to do with the rest of his life.
Mat Dempsey is sheriff of Piedras Island. It was never really in his ambition to come back home to run for sheriff, but here he is and he likes his life. About the only thing he doesn't have is someone to share his life with, but he's ok with that, for now. Life is usually pretty quiet in the winter on the island, with no tourism to speak of, so when there's a murder - the first in a very long time - and then other seemingly random crimes, Mat finds himself unseasonably busy and trying to figure out just where Niall fits in.
Conspiracy Theory is a super slow burn. I could definitely feel the attraction between the men -- an attraction that neither of them wanted -- but I missed the romance, here. Mat and Niall barely even talk for 3/4 of the book, much less get together. That doesn't happen until the very end. Now, that said, the timeline for the story is really quite short, and in real life Mat and Niall would have had a lot going on without getting involved with one another. Never fear, though, because this is just book 1, so I'm hoping we'll see Niall and Mat's relationship blossom in the next book.
I enjoyed the suspense plot, as well, though the resolution kind of threw me. It all seemed to come together really quickly and was kind of anticlimactic, to be honest. I can't help feel like there's more to come in regard to this particular crime spree. At least I hope so, because I am intrigued and want to know more.
All in all, Conspiracy Theory is a pretty decent start to a series that I will definitely continue reading as Elle Keaton gives us more.
** A free copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review. **
About the author:
I started writing way back when but only began publishing about two and a half years ago and now have nine books out. Each features a couple in my little universe, sometimes there is added mystery and suspense.
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