Saturday, July 19, 2014

Seagrass Pier by Colleen Coble: A Hope Beach Novel

Seagrass Pier 195x300Seagrass Pier is the third Hope Beach novel, the others include Tidewater Inn and Rosemary Cottage. Unlike many titles in a series, Seagrass Pier can easily be read as a stand-alone novel without confusion over characters and plots from the previous books.  Erin Summerall, a medical donor specialist, has herself received a new heart, needed after a virus destroyed her own.  Her recovery goes well, but Erin begins having nightmares about a murder.  Erin and the police all know that her new heart came from a young woman strangled on a cruise ship, so everyone takes her dreams seriously.  As they become more frequent and vivid, her "cell memories" hit the news.  Soon Erin begins to receive threatening messages.  Could it be the killer?  In an attempt to keep herself, her young daughter, and her frail mother safe, the young widow Erin settles in at a cottage at remote Seagrass Pier.  That move puts her face-to-face with FBI agent Marc who, despite orders from his superiors not to get involved, believes helping Erin will help him solve his own partner's death.  Like most romantic suspense stories, Coble's newest book is packed with plenty of action and angst with the recurring "cell memories" adding an eerie element. Whoever is stalking Erin is relentless and who it might be is not an easy pick.  As for the romance, sparks have always flown between Erin and Marc, especially years before Erin's marriage.  Marc's first introduction to young Josie with the dark hair and the little dimple so much like his, and he knows Erin has been hiding a secret. But Seagrass Pier goes beyond the formula suspense and romance especially in the story about Erin's mother who is beginning to exhibit early-onset dementia.  Her mixture of confusion and clarity add to the suspenseful plot, but on a more realistic level, Coble gives us a glimpse of the anguish caregivers and family members live each day.  I've read Tidewater Inn and started to listen to the audio version of Rosemary Cottage, and I would recommend the whole series, but most definitely Seagrass Pier if you are a fan of Christian contemporary suspense novels.  Being a "beach" novel, it would make a great book to take to the beach this August!  I received a copy of this title from BookLooks for my review.

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