I knew when I saw the girl running down the path, I had to have Gone Before Goodbye by Nora Leduc.
Cover art by Beetiful Book Covers.
Is it a stalker? Is it a serial killer?
Let’s read on and find out, shall we?
MY REIVEW of Gone Before Goodbye by Nora Leduc
Love & Mystery in the 6 oh 3, Book I
I saw the cover for Gone Before Goodbye by Nora Leduc and didn’t need to look any further. It was talking to me, telling me ~ READ ME. So I did.
Gone Before Goodbye by Nora Leduc is suspenseful and tragic from the very beginning. I knew what was coming by the blurb, but Nora kept me on my toes as I struggled to weed through the suspects and find the monster that preys on young girls. There are plenty of suspects to keep me – and you- guessing.
In the small town of Hawick Falls, Kara Linn is the first girl to go missing. Using a blog and his newspaper column, Vic Taylor, her uncle, the editor of the newspaper, struggles to keep her name in the limelight. He felt the authorities were not doing enough to find Kara.
Then Lisa Grant disappears. The monster doesn’t know it, but he stepped in it this time.
Lisa was abandoned by her parents when she was two and had come to live with Sophia. Because of her rebellious nature, the question did arise ~ could she have run away?
Teagan Raynes, her guardian, knows she did not run away. Teagan was going to adopt her, so why would she disappear now? Something terrible had to have happened. I can’t imagine the thoughts going through her mind. Feelings of guilt.
Teagan could relate to Lisa, because she had grown up on the streets with her crazy mom, until coming to her Aunt Sophia’s at seven years old. Teagan had left town to make her own way in the world, but returned to take care of Sophia when she became ill. Now that she was gone, it was up to Teagan to care for Lisa.
Teagan’s insecurities kept her from having a long term relationship with men. Her mother had taught her to trust no one and it took a long time to earn her trust. Still, she held something back. Her mother had also taught her to shoot a gun and Teagan is an expert shot with her .38 Special. Now that got my attention. I do like a strong female protagonist and I want to see her take this psycho dirtbag down.
Travis, her boyfriend had the same kind of background. Will they be drawn together or torn apart?
Detective Noah Cassidy had lost his wife and child in a boating accident. His mother left home when he was just a child and his father was a drunk. He was determined to be the opposite of his father ~ he would do right by others. Teagan liked the safe feeling she had when Noah was around. He had an air of self assurance and confidence. Their attraction was mutual, but they fought to control it.
I was happy that Nora took the time for Teagan and Noah to get to know each other in a slow growing relationship. This may be considered a spoiler, but I believe we all knew that this would happen, so I don’t think so. That is why Travis had such a short introduction. He didn’t last very long after Noah came into the picture. LOL
Matt, the priest is always around Teagan, like fleas on a dog. Noah and Matt conflicted as soon as they laid eyes on each other. I could picture the hackles rising as they faced off. Is it a territorial thing, male testosterone running AMOK, or is Noah more perceptive than the rest of us? Is there more to Matt than meets the eye? Just because he’s a priest doesn’t mean he’s a good guy. Uh oh, I got a bad feeling. Could it be him?
What’s up with Stacey? She works for Matt, but she is not a very pleasant person for being the church secretary. Is there more than meets the eye there?
Travis, Lisa’s boyfriend, was a suspect too, of course, the prime suspect.
I know it’s vandalism, but the band of Teenage Mutant Meter Feeders could do a lot worse. Or have they?
There are more characters that rotate in and out of the story, doing their part. Sometimes I can’t help but say, “What are they thinking?” “What are they doing? Well, I’ll tell you what they were doing, helping to muddy the waters as I tick off names. Could it be him? Him? Him? Her? Hmmm…
Tragedy strikes, yet we must go on. How? I cannot imagine the felling of helplessness of the ones looking for the missing. I watch a lot of crime shows, but until it happens to you, how can you know how you would react?
Can you imagine the terror of the one taken? Why me? What’s he gonna do to me?
You awake, cold and confused. In the dark, alone and so very frightened. You have nothing to do, but think. The terror builds, as you anticipate your captor’s return. What does he want? Will I live? Will I be tortured? Will I die? You scream, yell, beg, make deals with God (I will be a better person), all to no avail.
Human monsters! Depraved, psychotic, sadistic, truly evil. They revel and get off on others pain, fear and terror.
Still not sure who the bad guy is, but I think there is so much more going on with Teagan than I thought.
My only complaint ~ Teagan was a bit wimpy. Here insecurities and guilt made her seem pathetic at times. I would think her rough upbringing would have toughened her up more. I don’t like criers. I must keep in mind, that women’s tears are different than men’s, so I can overlook most of it, as long as the character comes through in the end. The most frustrating reason for me to cry is when I am very angry. Why does that happen? Does it happen to you?
Will she be able to pull out her gun and shoot someone, when and if the moment comes? What do you think?
She’s always looking around to see if see if she can spot her missing mother, though she does not actively search for her…yet.
I am loving it! Plots and subplots. Yes, the storyline was predictable, but the pacing and doubt of the killer kept the suspense and mystery at a high level. There is no cliffhanger, but there is more to come that I want to learn about.
I am very eager to see Book II.
4 Stars – Would Highly Recommend To Others
The police are stumped. Was she a runaway careening toward disaster or the victim of a predator preying on teenage girls?
When rebellious seventeen-year-old Lisa Grant vanishes from her New Hampshire home, her guardian, Teagan Raynes, becomes ensnared in the frantic hunt to find her. Search dogs lose the girl’s scent at Pretty Park, where another teenager disappeared three months ago. Law enforcement fears a stalker is using the park to abduct young girls. Desperate, Teagan, reluctantly puts her faith in the lead detective, the notorious Noah Cassidy.
Hot-headed, Noah Cassidy’s reputation and job are on the line. Rumors that he attempted to kill the man found guilty of destroying his family in a boating accident have tainted him. To prove his worth, Noah devotes every minute to the case and realizes he’s up against a cunning adversary. Worse, he finds himself distracted by feelings for the attractive, gutsy Teagan. To erase her doubts about him, he must earn back his reputation and let go of his past. He knows what he has to do. He must bring Lisa home and take down the monster who is hunting the girls of Pretty Park before it’s too late.
In the hallway, Teagan unlocked the door. On the street, a postal truck crawled up the block of New England style houses with sprawling porches, rectangular ranches, and modern Cape Cod homes. She grabbed the envelopes from the mailbox attached to the beige clapboards, stepped inside, and closed the entryway.
She sorted through the ads and bills to the last piece, a large white envelope. The sender used a printed label addressed to her. What was this? She ripped open the flap and pulled out…a holy card?
The picture of Mary Magdalene decorated the front. Someone must have sent a prayer for Lisa? Teagan flipped to the other side and frowned at the words.
Tu sequens morieris
Someone wrote to her in…Latin? Strange. The prick of sweat stabbed the back of her neck. She sat on the sofa and scooped up her phone from the coffee table. As she searched online for a translation, she dug into her memory of high school Spanish to help crack the code. Tu was you and morieris had something to do with death and sequens translated to—
Her breath whooshed out of her. She dropped her cell on the cushion, but the phrase stared up from the screen.
You die next.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nora grew up in rural New Hampshire, picking blueberries in her backyard and wandering the woods with her brothers. Now that she’s older, she still lives in rural New Hampshire and enjoys writing stories. She was first published in 2000 and has written historical romances, contemporary romance, romantic suspense and mystery. She is a co-founder of the New Hampshire Romance Writers chapter, which meets monthly at the Bow Library. Here she enjoys great speakers and the company of fabulous authors.
When not writing, Nora spends time with her family, sews quilts, gardens and takes road trips to anywhere fun.
Visit her website: noraleduc.com, Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/57070.Nora_LeDuc, Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Gone-Before-Goodbye-Mystery-6-oh-3-ebook/dp/B00OTWAGHC and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nora.leduc.
Click on the cover to get your Amazon copy of Gone Before Goodbye by Nora Leduc.