Series: The Agency
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Also by this author: Rage/Killian, Kill Without Mercy, Kayden/Simon, Blade
HE SEES YOU
First came the floods. Then came the bodies. The victims strangled, then buried along the shores of the Mississippi have finally been unearthed, years after they disappeared. He remembers every satisfying kill . . . each woman s terror and agony. But there s only one he truly wanted. And fate has brought her within reach again . . .
HE KNOWS YOUJaci Patterson was sixteen when she found the first golden locket on her porch. Inside were a few strands of hair wrapped around a scrap of bloodstained ribbon. Though the gifts kept arriving, no one believed her hunch that a serial killer was at work. Now Jaci has returned home . . . and the nightmare is starting once more.
AND HE LL NEVER LET YOU GOBack then, Rylan Cooper was an arrogant deputy sheriff convinced that Jaci was just an attention seeking teen. It was a fatal mistake. There s a murderer in their midst, someone determined to settle old scores and keep playing a twisted game. And it won t end until Jaci is his forever . . .
Alexandra Ivy gives readers a nice balance of romance and suspense in her fast-paced, well-plotted novel. Kat Martin, New York Times bestselling author"
Pretend You’re Safe brought me back to my first discovery of Alexandra Ivy, Kill Without Mercy. She writes such compelling suspense stories! Jaci, the heroine, lives in a small Missouri town, eking out a life by renting out her farmland and selling baked goods. 10 years ago she was the target of a stalker, but no one took her seriously. Now, there are bodies turning up after some flooding rains and Jaci’s stalker has returned. She worries that once again, no one will believe her and she will be left to deal with it on her own.
There are plenty of people who jumped out as creepers to me. First, the sheriff, Mike, is kind of douche-y. He is one of those power trip guys, who wants everyone to be in awe of him. He and Jaci went out a few times, but she felt nothing for him. He has asked her out frequently, but she kept saying no. So, he jumped to the top of my suspect list. Then there is her asshole half brother. I’m pretty sure he is a psychopath and his parents (her mom and step dad) are aware of it, but use their money and power to hide it. Then there is her step dad, who does some shady shit. Again, maybe he is trying to cover up his son’s sins, but either way, he is acting suspicious. Next on my list is the town photographer. He came back to this tiny town in the middle of nowhere Missouri to open an art gallery? WTF? Who the hell is gonna buy his stuff in this tiny farming town. They aren’t close to any big cities! Seems weird to me, and that makes him a suspect. Then there is her neighbor, who has means and opportunity, so he is a suspect. Then there is the deputy who hid information….yeah, there is no want for suspects in the story for sure!!!! I mean, maybe its not a man. It could be her bitch of a half sister. Or hell, her mega bitch of a mom! See what I mean-no want for suspects even in this tiny town!
Rylan is our hero. He grew up in the town, and his father still lives there. He has a degree in criminal justice and started a very profitable business with his friend. He lives happily in California, but came home to help his father with a few things around the farm because of all the rain. Rylan kept his distance from Jaci when they were in school, so they were never friends. I struggled to warm to Rylan as a hero because he pushed Jaci away when they were young because he knew she had feelings for him and he didn’t like that. I just imagine Jaci as a teenager: her mom and half siblings treat her like typhoid Mary, her crush is actively staying away and making her feel like an idiot for being concerned over some pranks, and her dad is dead. I wanted to punch all these assholes in the face, Rylan included.
The story is told in 3rd person omniscient so you get to see into the killers mind, which I always love. Ivy does this and still manages to maintain anonymity of the killer which is great as well. Ivy drops little, tiny clues throughout the story to help you eliminate suspects or narrow it down, but they are easy to miss if you aren’t paying close attention. The red herrings are much easier to catch!
If you like creepy suspense stories with a brave heroine who isn’t an idiot, Pretend You’re Safe will keep you up reading long past your bedtime. It will also make you seriously look at everyone in your life a little differently because anyone could be a psychopath!
- POV: 3rd
- Tears: no
- Trope: stalker, serial killer, small town
- Triggers: View Spoiler »obviously, stalking occurs in the book as well as murder so be warned « Hide Spoiler
- Series/Standalone: stand alone
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »no « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »to me, this is an HFN; there is no epilogue and I am still not feeling trusting of Rylan’s commitment to stay « Hide Spoiler