Sunday, May 17, 2015

Book Review: Buried Secrets by Emme Rolllins

Buried Secrets

By Emme Rollins

Pages 250

Published 8/5/13

Reviewer: Sandra Long

The only fault I found in reading this book was it was much too short. I was enjoying every page and found myself wanting at least twice as many more to read. This author has a way with a story that keeps the reader so interested, so involved that every page offers new excitement, new thrills and a growing desire for more. 

Many of us grew up in small towns like the one in this story. Those who didn’t have heard or read enough to know the truth about how everyone knows everyone and people are judged and accepted or rejected by their family’s past. There is also almost always a need for more jobs so a chance for a new industry brings into play two sides of local politics—those who want the industry at any price because of the jobs it will bring, and there are always corrupt politicians and businessmen who will take bribes to try to make that happen. On the other side are the true pioneers, usually the people whose ancestors originally settled the town and want to maintain its integrity and its natural environment in as pristine a way as possible, even at the cost of new jobs.

This is a story about such a town as this and thrown into the mix is a mysterious series of murders where the victims are mutilated as though “they have been through a meat grinder”. A large wild animal is the 

prime suspect but when our main character, Dusty, loses her twin brother to this “creature”, she will stop at nothing to uncover the truth. She is newly graduated from high school and already accepted at the college she chose, but no opening for her until second semester, so she will be home for at least a few months. Her twin brother will be attending a different college but is murdered the night his friends give him a going away party.

One of these friends is a boy named Shane, one of the town’s bad boys. All towns have them. Dusty’s family is new money as her dad had worked his way up in the large industrial company that wants to buy land and expand into the town. Shane’s family once had money but his dad is a drunk and his older brother has been in trouble with the law since a high school prank ended up injuring a teacher and getting him sent off. He is now an adult and in prison on new charges and Shane is the first suspect in anything that happens in the town. He was the last one seen with Dusty’s brother the night he was murdered so he spent most of the following day at the police station but was released and the mysterious large animal was declared the murderer again.

Shane had been best friend’s with Nick, Dusty’s twin brother, since junior high. He and Dusty had also been in love since then but neither knew of the other’s feelings because Nick made sure to keep them apart as much as possible and played them against each other, causing each of them to think Dusty hated Shane. 

Nick’s death brings Dusty and Shane together to try to find the true cause of his death and, since both of them are grieving over Nick’s death, their shared grief seems to draw them together in a weird, seeking comfort kind of way.

The story progresses as more mysterious deaths and disappearances happen, Dusty overhears a conversation between her dad and a candidate for the office of sheriff that indicates he is involved in something illegal and Nicky takes a job as a waitress at the local bar/hangout to try to get information that may help her solve her brother’s death. We are kept on pins and needles wondering who will be the next to die, who or what is doing the killing, what mysterious activity is Dusty’s dad involved in and will our two leading characters, Dusty and Shane, admit their love for each other or continue on a path that seems destined to lead them further apart ?

Hopefully we will see more stories from this author, maybe even a follow-up to this story as the ending leaves lots of room for several possible continuing storylines. I read so may books that I enjoy and never hesitate to say I do or do not like a book, but this one I must say I really liked a lot—two thumbs up and 5 stars are an easy call for this novel, especially if you are a fan of the Stephen King type mysterious death stories.

Should some secrets remain buried?

Dusty has always been a hothead, far more impulsive than her twin, Nick, the calm, cool and collected one of the pair. But Nick is dead, found murdered in their local cemetery, and Dusty simply can’t rest until she finds out who–or what–has killed her brother.

Sure the local authorities aren’t being straight with her–or anyone else–about what’s been going on in their little upper Michigan town, Dusty delays going off to college for a semester, defying her father and stepmother and taking a job in the local bar to start doing some digging.

Her focus soon fixes on Shane, her brother’s best friend and the town bad boy. The tension and rivalry between Dusty and Shane has always been palpable and sparks fly as the two collide. Dusty finds herself sinking in deeper with Shane and the mystery of what happened to her brother–and a lengthening list of victims–grows even stranger.

When everything comes to a head, Dusty focuses on one thing: What happened the night her brother was killed in the cemetery? She’s sure Shane is keeping a secret and she’s determined to find out what it is, one way or another.

Emme Rollins a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling Author of New Adult/Mature Young Adult fiction. She’s been writing since she could hold a crayon and still chews her pen caps to a mangled plastic mess. She did not, however, eat paste as a kid. 

She has two degrees, a bachelor’s and a master’s, one of which she’s still paying for, but neither of which she uses out in the “real world,” because when she isn’t writing, she spends her time growing an organic garden to feed her husband and children (and far too many rabbits and deer!) where they live on twenty gorgeous forested acres in rural Michigan.

She loves tending her beehives (bees are wonderful pollinators and Hello!? Honey!) and keeping up with her daily yoga practice and going for long walks in the woods with her boxer, Rodeo, who loves chasing squirrels almost as much as Emme loves writing!

Emme loves hearing from fans, so feel free to use the contact page on her site to connect with her.

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