While fighting in Afghanistan, Major Grant Barrett receives devastating news: his brother and sister-in-law have been murdered in Scarlet Falls, the sleepy suburb of Grant's youth. Emotionally scarred from war, the career soldier returns home on emergency leave to temporarily care for his orphaned nephew and niece. But when someone tries to kidnap the kids and their teenage babysitter, Grant knows it's not a random act... and neither were the murders.
Already devastated by her neighbors' violent deaths, Ellie Ross is shattered by the attempted abduction of her teenage daughter so she desperately turns to Grant for help. As they navigate a deadly search for the truth, they struggle with growing feelings for each other and Grant's impending return to deployment.
But time is running out. The killer is growing bolder by the hour, and Ellie and Grant must find him before the children become his next victims.
Best-selling author Melinda Leigh delivers another gritty mystery simmering with spine-tingling passion in this first Scarlet Falls novel.
©2014 Melinda Leigh (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved
The book is interesting with an unlikely cast of characters.
It is not full of action, no especially violent, has reasonable back story but not an edge in your seat, "un-put down able" ripping yarn.
I mark it down too due to the romantic stuff not a personal preference in a murder mystery.
Obsessive reader of at least 5 kindle books a week. Only use audiobooks to survive my daily 90 minute walk to work.
Some of the many things I loved about this book:
• Characters were not just black and white. Most were fundamentally good people, but were not perfect, made mistakes, and sometimes messed up. Some people were more likeable than others, and some unlikeable people then had moments when you empathised with them. The bad guy was not immediately obvious – right up until the end it could have been one of several people.
• I loved the scene where the two brothers did not automatically assume that their sister would be the best caregiver for orphaned children, purely because she was a woman. In fact initially they both acknowledged that she was not maternal, and that the responsibility fell to them to take care of the kids.
• The H and h were mutually attracted, but for much of the book did not act on this attraction. People close to them had been murdered, and romance was, realistically, the least of their priorities. Even when they admitted to their mutual attraction they both knew that a relationship was not a realistic proposition and both, all the way through, always put the kids first. At the end, when circumstances changed and a relationship become possible, they decided to “see where it developed” rather than claim “insta-love”. The epilogue very nicely showed where everything had developed!
• I particularly loved the h in this book. She did not fall to pieces in moments of crisis and do stupid stuff. When held at gunpoint she carefully and rationally considered all her options, and acted appropriately. She did not automatically trust the H just because she liked him, nor did she discount anyone as a suspect for anything but very logical reasons. In other words, she had a brain, and she used it. Hallelujah!!!
Great book, really good narration. Looking forward to the next in the series.
The style makes me think slightly of James Patterson and John Grisham but mostly she is up there with Jeffrey Archer too.
A gripping story !!
This book played with all my emotions
Very well written and beautifully told.
This was great until the awful ending. what happened to Lindseys parents. The evil females who killed her and their families. not to mention Donnie. It just stopped.
It had a real nice flow and some nice twists.
I couldn't do that. Different in a nice original way.
I was able to tell who was talking without a problem.
No, just very enjoyable.
Will read or listen to more.
"More than an hour..."
The story was very good,and I enjoyed the characters. The description of Grant Barrett gave me a very good idea of what he looked like, and I could picture him and Ellie working together side by side.
The story had some great twist and turns, and I liked how the story was all tied together in the end.
Hour of Need is the first book by Melinda Leigh I have read and the first narrated by Cris Dukehart. I thought the narrator was a little flat in the beginning of the book, but she seemed to improve as the story moved along.
Overall, I enjoyed Hour of Need, and would recommend this book.
Despite the fact I wanted to find out "whodunit", skipping to the end would have been the only answer had I been reading the actual book. Since I was using the audio book I just let it keep running while I was painting a large room. The plot was ordinary, the characters were generic and the 'romance' was contrived. I found the love sequences so ridiculous, out of place and unnecessary that I did speed through them. Maybe it was the paint fumes, but I held on to the end for the mystery to be solved and was left with an ehhhh who cares feeling.
"Narrator is the worst I've ever heard!"
This was the most colorless, monotone, and at times, robotic reading I've been subjected to. Rather than enhancing the writing, it did the opposite. I should have heeded the reviewer whose advice was to read this book rather than to listen to it.
"not worth it"
Terrible narrator. Story too sappy for suspense. I didn't enjoy the book at all. Beware
I've read a few of Leigh's books including the she can series and this story by far was my favorite. she has a knack for story telling. I will continue to read her books and would highly recommend anyone read her stories as well
Good read, will read the next in the series. Audio well done. Love the grandmother character.
This grabbed me from the beginning, keeps you guessing! Has mystery, love, family, action, what else could you ask for!
Liked it enough to get the 2nd book and I do not read mysteries. The performance was good too.
"Fantastic Romantic Suspense @$7.34 Bargain"
I was already hooked by the story from the very beginning when a shocking event happened. Lee and Kate, who had just being described as ordinary people, parents of a 4-month-old baby girl and a 6-year-old boy, are shot to death right after leaving the restaurant where they had been diligently celebrating their anniversary, in a moment that seemed to be turbulent in their marriage . When I thought I was being coaxed into the difficulties and lies of a couple in some kind of crisis, I was involved in a different atmosphere, skillfully created by the author, in which I then wanted to know who had killed people I already cared about.
From then on, through an outstanding writing style, we get to know several well-built characters, smoothly and purposefully introduced to us in a multi-layered plot that showed a perfect balance between romance and suspense, which intensely held my attention until the last page.
The center of the narrative is the murder whose investigation introduces all the characters. The mystery around it is very well built and the solution is so craftily hidden that it makes us keep on trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together until the very end. If after the startling solution of the suspense we rewind the story back to the beginning, we can see the clues leading up to the unexpected and intelligent elucidation. The gradual unfolding of events is masterfully tied through to the end, with flawless development and no loose ends.
The romantic aspect of the book establishes a solid foundation for the mystery because it has a lively plot with realistic and lovable characters, whose background we get to know gradually, and of whom we become fond since they are well developed and psychologically deep. Even the supporting characters have their spark, and not only make great sense in the story but also play a significant role in the dynamics. They all touch us deeply, either because we care about them or because they are so puzzling that we can’t stop trying to figure out their actions. We feel captivated by each developing conflict because the author harmoniously integrates the characters in a consistent unity, which is a positive foundation to establish the connection with the listener.
Furthermore the author brings to light two topics really worth thinking over, bullying and PTSD, which are centrally plotted and, although not fully explored and with no pretension to deplete the subject, are very well dealt with by being displayed from a thought-provoking perspective.
It is a heartwarming book and the author is brilliant at creating a gripping thriller along with a believable moving romance. I think she masters not only the art of writing but the one of talking very close to the reader through her sensitive and high quality work.
Melinda Leigh artfully ties everything in the plot, leaving no loose ends for us to question in the rewarding unfolding of the mystery, and the only thing she leaves open is our positive expectation for the following book in the upcoming series.
Cris Dukehart was fantastic with the delivery of the story
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