Genres: Romantic Suspense
Source: ARC, Edelweiss
In Tess Diamond’s third romantic thriller, an FBI agent teams up with the one woman who can offer the salvation he needs as they search for a serial killer . . .
As the head of an elite FBI unit, Special Agent Paul Harrison seems to have everything figured out, but beneath the surface, an internal war is raging. When he returns to his rural hometown for the first time in a few years, he’s faced with the memories that led to his losing the love of his life.
Fifteen years ago, Abigail Winthrop’s best friend, and Paul’s girlfriend, was murdered by the infamous serial killer Doctor X. Now an investigative journalist, she’s determined to find the truth. But when Abigail discovers evidence that clears Doctor X, she realizes the real killer is still out there and is striking again when local young girls begin disappearing.
Turning to Paul for help, Abigail joins forces with him. As an undeniable attraction develops between them, they must heal deep wounds from their past—and find a relentless psychopath who could extinguish their hopes for a future together.
Be a Good Girl by Tess Diamond is what I consider classic mystery/suspense with a touch of romance. You have a woman who cannot let the death of a loved one go, even when the FBI said the case was closed, the killer confessed. Throw in a dash of second chance romance, and you have all the makings of romantic suspense!
Abby is a journalist who is writing a story about the murder of her BFF, Cass. Paul is an FBI agent who has a history with Abby and Cass, and on a trip back home gets caught up in Abby’s theory of a serial killer who is still on the loose. The plot was interesting and the evidence that Abby uncovers was plausible. I mean, I could see something similar actually occurring, you know! I struggled with the romance aspect at times though because these two have a weird past. They were torn apart by this tragedy but the circumstances make it feel rude to be together.
Be a Good Girl was a surprisingly quick read, with lots of interesting events that keep you reading! While I struggled at times with Abby and Paul as a romantic couple, it didn’t ruin the book and the supporting characters, especially the genius tech guru from the FBI. If you like romantic suspense with mystery and believable danger, Be a Good Girl is a good pick!
- POV: 3rd
- Tears: no
- Trope: FBI, second chance, small town
- Triggers: View Spoiler »There is a super creepy serial killer and you do get some glimpse into what he does to the girls; its not graphic, but can be disturbing to some readeres « Hide Spoiler
- Series/Standalone: stand alone
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »no « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »its an abrupt end, and really an HFN as the hero actually says “What are we going to do now” « Hide Spoiler
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From Be a Good Girl:
Abby took a deep breath, her eyes settling on the words. This was it. In just minutes, she’d be face-to-face with him. Her heart was hammering in her chest at the thought.
She turned back to Stan, and was surprised at how troubled the older man looked.
“Are you sure about this?” he asked her.
“I’m a big girl, Stan,” she said. “You don’t have to worry about me.”
“Look . . .” He licked his lips, looking nervous.
“He’s tricky. Really tricky.”
“I’ve heard the rumors,” Abby said.
She didn’t need the rumors. She knew from real life exactly how sick the man she was about to meet was. She had spent the last two years learning everything there was to know about him. She’d talked to every teacher he’d ever had, every relative who was willing to speak to her and not slam the door in her face. She’d talked to every single person who’d even had a modicum of contact with Howard Wells, better known as Dr. X.
She knew him. And she was about to use that knowledge to get what she wanted from him.
“I just want you to be careful,” Stan said. “He knows exactly what to say to get to you.”
“I know he talked an inmate into killing himself,” Abby said.
“Not just one,” Stan said quietly, looking over his shoulder nervously before lowering his voice and adding, “And not just inmates.”
Abby’s eyes widened at the implication. She knew she should press Stan for more information, but she also knew she could ferret out the truth herself with a little research. She didn’t want to make him even more nervous, especially because he was authorized to cut her meeting short if he deemed the situation unsafe. “I appreciate your concern,” she told Stan.
“But I’ll only be asking him questions.”
“Okay,” Stan said. “Just don’t get too close.” He took her through the same rundown she’d gotten when she’d first entered the prison: no contact, no passing the prisoner anything, and no getting within even ten feet of the prisoner. Abby had a feeling that the last one was a specific rule for the man she was about to see.
The solitary wing was quiet as they walked through it to the very end, where a door led to another, even more isolated section.
“Inmate 3847, your visitor is here,” Stan called out. Abby’s skin prickled at the change in his voice. When talking with her, he had been kind, almost grandfatherly. But now, his voice was stern and authoritative, full of “don’t fuck with me” attitude.
“You sit here,” Stan said, pointing his baton at the bench set a good ten feet away from the thick, clear plastic wall that made up the front of Howard’s cell. “Inmate 3847, come forward.”
There was a pause, and Abby had to bite the inside of her cheek as he shuffled into view.
Howard Wells was fifteen years older than the last time she’d seen a picture of him, but he was no less terrifying. Goose bumps—the dreadful, horror-filled kind—spread across her skin as his eyes met hers.
His hair was gray now, slicked back, the comb tracks visible, like he’d carefully groomed it for this meeting. His orange jumpsuit was clean and tidy, his bright blue eyes shining in his craggy face.
His feet were shackled, but instead of his hands being cuffed, he was in a straitjacket, his arms lashed to his sides. Despite this, he held himself like he was the emperor of his own tiny kingdom. Like she was a serf who had the honor of experiencing his presence.
Abby showed no emotion as she sat down, placing her notebook and pen in her lap. Stan hovered in the corner, and Abby gave him a small nod.
“I’ll be right outside,” he said. “Panic button is right here.” He pointed meaningfully at the red button on the wall. “Don’t try any of your manipulative shit, Wells.”
A light tsking sound filled the air as Stan left them alone, and Abby stared at him. He came forward, so he was just inches behind the thick sheet of Plexiglas that kept him from going for her. “Abigail Winthrop,” he said.
“Hello, Howard,” she said. She refused to call him Mr. Wells. And she certainly wasn’t going to call him Doctor. There wasn’t going to be any deference here.
She wasn’t playing his game. She was here for answers—and she was going to get them…