Monday, April 13, 2015

Review: Forbidden Ground by Karen Harper

Book Blurb:

Let the dead stay dead…

Despite a traumatic childhood in Cold Creek, Ohio, the Lockwood sisters have reunited there for the wedding of youngest sister Tess to the town's sheriff. Maid of honor Kate Lockwood is determined to break through best man Grant Mason's defences. An anthropologist, Kate makes her living studying the dead. She is particularly interested in the prehistoric Adena civilization that once called the area home. A large burial mound sits on Mason family land, and Kate wants permission to excavate. But Grant refuses and tells Kate to stay away from the mound.

Kate respects Grant's desire to honor his grandfather's belief that the dead should not be disturbed. However, the more she researches the more it becomes clear that Grant is hiding something. When one of Grant's friends is killed—and the sheriff is away on his honeymoon—the couple joins forces to assist the deputy in the investigation.

When Kate comes under attack she is certain it is connected to the burial mound. Grant seems concerned for Kate's safety, but despite their explosive attraction she can't help but be suspicious of his motives. Can Kate trust the man she's come to love, or will the wrong decision be her final act?

My Review:

2 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Mystery

Kate Lockwood returns home to her small town for her sister’s wedding. While she is there, she plans to research the local prehistorical burial mounds owned by her sister’s friend Grant. Grant is intrigued by Kate, but does not want her anywhere near the burial site for personal reasons. As the two grow closer, a murder is on the loose.

This was my first Karen Harper book, and unfortunately it was not interesting enough to motivate me to read others by her. I had heard really good things about her stories being intriguing and full of mystery, so I was excited to give it a go. Based on other people’s reviews, I think I must have started with the wrong one because I did not find this book to be compelling at all. I was so inundated with historical facts that I could barely stay afloat with the plot. Instead of this reading like a mystery, at times it felt like a history text book with a few sentences of modern day thrown in. I found myself zoning out and then I started to skim the pages for actual relevant story. I understand that one of the main characters loves history, but I don’t. This did not even put a new spin on the regurgitation of facts to make it moderately appealing to me.

Let’s talk about the characters for a minute. Kate is a scientist through and through and approaches everything as a task to be analyzed or fixed. I am a scientist also, but man I hope I am not as cold and calculating as she came off as. She currently has a sort of boyfriend (mentor/advisor/boss), which seems more like a relationship of convenience than anything else, and she casts it aside as soon as she meets Grant. Wow, that is kind of cold. But then at the same time, she has instant feelings towards Grant and sporadic thought about spending her life with him even while she is calculating how to use his relationship to her advantage. Oh and by the way, the current boyfriend is pushing her into Grant’s arms with his nefarious suggestions while talking about how the two of them make a perfect couple. Huh? Kate is one hot mess of an emotional danger zone. And can I mention how she continuously try to be a detective by pointing out to Grant how his close friends are the likely suspects of criminal acts? Way to tip toe around his feelings. And really, Grant is no better. He likes her, he doesn’t trust her, he desires her, he thinks she is using him. These two appear to have their lives together but internally have serious issues that I really couldn’t (or want to) keep up with. Right at the end of the book, Grant believes that Kate was lying to him/using him and seems fine with it a second later when he learns the truth. If you honestly think your partner has nefarious plans against you, maybe rethink the relationship?

I will say that the side characters were all very interesting, more so than I found the main characters to be. I also liked the fact that there is a creepy cult, and that to me was the most intriguing part of the book that was unfortunately not very important to the plot. I am not very excited to try another book by this author anytime soon, but maybe someday.

I received this title from the author in exchange for my honest review.

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