Casee‘s review of The Perfect Couple (The Last Stand Series, Book 4) by Brenda Novak.
One afternoon in May, Zoe Duncan’s thirteen-year-old daughter goes missing from her own backyard. The police think Samantha ran away because she’s unhappy about her mother’s upcoming marriage—but Zoe doesn’t believe it. In fact, she’s willing to do anything to bring Sam home, even if it means losing her job, her beautiful home, her fiancé. Even if it means divulging all her secrets to a private investigator.
Jonathan Stivers is a P.I. who donates his time to The Last Stand, a victims’ charity in Sacramento. He’s good at what he does, the best. But never has he had fewer leads to work with—or been more attracted to a client. Jonathan’s sure of only one thing: Sam was taken by someone close to the family. He doesn’t know how close until he realizes that the “perfect” couple next door is anything but….
Brenda Novak is one of those authors that gets better with each book. After releasing the books in her The Last Stand trilogy last year, she obviously decided to continue it. Which totally works. The excerpt in the back of Watch Me was awesome (read the excerpt here). I wanted to read The Perfect Couple right then and there.
The plot is definitely a compelling one. A seemingly happy, “normal” couple in a high-middle class neighborhood are actually murdering pedophiles. Colin Bell is obviously a sociopath of the highest order. While it can be argued that his wife is one of his victims, I didn’t completely buy it.
Tiffany Bell snatches Sam Duncan on a whim. The thirteen year old girl next door caught her at a bad time. When going to dump the body of her husband’s latest “pet”, she loses him b/c he wasn’t dead like she thought he was. Taking Sam was like killing two birds with one stone. Sam couldn’t say anything about spying on her through the fence and Colin will have a new pet.
Zoe moves herself and Sam into her fiance’s house b/c she wants to give Sam the best life that she knows how. When Sam disappears from their backyard, Zoe doesn’t know what to think or do. What she does know is that Sam’s disappearance forced her to take a serious look at her relationship with Anton (the fiance).
The only person that seems to be willing to actively help her is Jonathon Strivers. She met one of the founders of The Last Stand when she was a victim herself. Jonathon’s help seems like a godsend and Zoe will take any and all help she can get. Contrary to what the police and even Anton believe, Zoe knows that Sam didn’t run away.
After meeting Zoe, Jonathon wants nothing more than to find Sam for her. The problem is that he has few leads and no witnesses. Investigating all avenues possible, the truth that confronts him is not a pleasant one. It had to have been someone that Sam and/or Zoe knew. I found the romance between Zoe and Jonathon to be very believable. They are both people w/ relationship issues and it’s not something that is quickly wrapped up.
I found it very interesting how Brenda wrote Colin into the story. The joy that Colin took in “helping” Zoe find Sam was gripping. He kept insinuating himself into Zoe’s life, all the while her daughter was being treated like an animal in his bonus room. The thought of something like this actually happening is very creepy.
I lived in the area that the book takes place. I have to give Brenda props b/c there was not one time that I said “it’s impossible to go there from [insert place here]. I’ve had a problem w/ that in the past and it yanks me out of the book every single time.
If you’re looking for a good romantic suspense series to start, look no further.
4.25 out of 5.
Other books in the series: