All right, I'm off to bed :) Enjoy this review! :) I really enjoyed the book and I hope it comes through the review :) Also, don't forget to vote for the next Week-End's Minis! The poll is on the sidebar :)
No One Left to Tell by Karen Rose
published by Headline in January 2012 in UK/June 2012 in US
A woman is dead and her fiance is serving a life sentence for a murder he didn't commit. Now PI Paige Holden holds the only piece of evidence that could see him freed, and she cannot take it to the police. With the help of disarming state attorney, Grayson Smith, Paige is determined to avenge the murdered woman and set an innocent man free. But Paige has only scratched the surface of a cover-up far deadlier than she could ever imagine. A string of mysterious deaths of women with a shared past sets Paige on the trail of a ruthless killer. The problem is, the killer's on her trail too...Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Baltimore, Book #2 - but loosely connected to all her books
The Story: Readers met Paige Holden in Silent Scream, as one of Olivia's best friend. Since then, Paige has been assaulted and has witnessed a friend's murder. Shaken, the karate master has moved to Baltimore for a fresh start and is now working towards becoming a licensed PI.
While walking her protector dog, Paige is almost run over by a minivan. The driver is Elena Munos, Paige's cleaning lady and also a client whom Paige was working a pro bono case for. Six years ago, a young woman was killed during a party at the estate of retired State Senator James McCloud and the gardener Ramon Munos, Elena's husband, was found guilty of the crime. All these years, Ramon has claimed to be innocent... and before dying, Elena hands to Paige a USB key containing the evidence to clear her husband. Not knowing whom to trust with the evidence, Paige decides to check out the prosecutor on the case, Assistant State's Attorney, Grayson Smith. However, it soon becomes clear that someone wants the evidence to disappear and as a result, Paige has become a target.
Grayson Smith is proud to have one of the better conviction rates in the state's attorney's office, but more importantly, he believes in his job and the system. As such, he is shaken by the death of Elena, especially since she has come to him not long ago to ask for a new trial for her husband. Grayson starts to wonder if he convicted an innocent man... and if he did, he intends to rectify the mistake. Even it comes at the cost of his job and threatens to reveal some big secrets about his past.
Obviously, it won't be a simple case, but as Paige and Grayson investigate, they quickly realize they've stumbled across something way bigger than they expected...
My Opinion: Okay, it's no secret on this blog that I love, love, love Ms Rose's books! :) You know how Nora Roberts is known as La Nora? Well for me, Karen Rose is the Queen of RS :) I simply devour her books. With No One Left to Tell, I told myself I should savor the book, take my time. What did I do instead? Stay up till 2am to read as much as possible LOL. And let me tell you, it's been a while since I've been this engrossed in a book :)
There is just something about Ms Rose's writing that works for me. It's the perfect blend of interesting and likable characters, good suspense and fast pacing and No One Left to Tell was no exception. I was really engrossed by the storyline and suspense in this book, I liked how the case was more than meet the eye. Ms Rose has a knack for complex stories and cases and as always, did a great job at connecting all the elements. Also No One Left to Tell was quite a thick book and Ms Rose really made good use of the number of pages. There was moments in the storyline when it was quieter, when it didn't feel as thrilling, but it was in no way draggy or boring.
Something else I enjoy about Ms Rose's books is that she dares. She's not afraid of writing about dirty cops and bribery, but at the same time, she always shows the two sides of the coin. She shows us cops dedicated to their jobs, prosecutors who believe in the system... Also, she shows us shades of grey. For example, you couldn't help but feel for Silas, one of the villains. He did bad things and some of the circumstances were his own faults, but he did what he had for his family. It doesn't make it right, but... All of this makes for a good balance of things and adds to the realistic feeling. Another thing that made the storyline real was the addition of technology. The fact that the video went up on Youtube almost before the crime was over, that everyone has cell phones that can take videos... the texting. It added to the storyline and makes you realize how hard it is to keep a secret nowadays, but also how more complicated some people's jobs are ^_^;
Finally, I want to talk about the characters. I loved Paige and Grayson characters. They were great people, very genuine, determined and brave. They both had heavy back stories, which sometimes may seem too much, but it wasn't because of the way they were introduced. Instead, it added layers and depth to their characters :) I liked how Paige didn't miraculously recover from the events that made her leave Minneapolis, but also how she didn't lie to herself or others by saying she was okay. She was still affected, but she coped at best she could. She didn't let others push her around... and she was patient with herself. She knew when she'd be ready, she'd resume karate and get back to a more normal self. I also liked that she wasn't too stubborn with the investigation. I think too often, heroines in romantic suspense act rashly or do something readers consider TSTL and you wonder why? Oh why? In this case, Paige had good reasons not to go to the police with the evidence... but she didn't plan to investigate solo. She reached out and that was smart. Grayson was another great hero from Ms Rose. Liked I mention earlier, he's dedicated about the job... but it's more. He cares and believes and that makes him a man of integrity and an interesting character. I also liked how protective he was of his family and found his situation very interesting. He's a man that you'd want at your back during and he was there for Paige :)
Speaking of Grayson and Paige, I really liked their chemistry and the romance. It's hard to make a romance work sometimes when the timeline of the story is so short. However, in No One Left to Tell, there was a connection between Paige and Grayson, one that was felt as soon as they met that made the romance believable. Perhaps it's because Grayson saved Paige's life, but the chemistry was undeniable :) I also liked the pacing at which the romance progressed. Paige and Grayson didn't job into bed right away. They acknowledged the attraction and also discussed what they wanted out of a relationship. I guess that's another reason why the romance worked, because despite the short period they knew each other, they communicated :) In any case, I enjoyed the moments they spent together and the romance.
All in all, I really enjoyed and loved No One Left to Tell and will definitively re-read it soon :) I have to say, I was surprised that Clay didn't have a more prominent role in the storyline, given he'll be the hero in the next book. At the same time, it might have been a good decision, so Clay wouldn't steal the spotlight LOL. I did have one little niggle with the plot, but I don't want to address it in the review, because it'd be too much of a spoiler. However, it was a really small issue and didn't affect my enjoyment of the book at all :)
My Grade: A. Once again, Ms Rose delivers a great book with a solid plot, good suspense and pacing and satisfactory romance. Fans of Ms Rose and of romantic suspense will definitively enjoy this book. And if you haven't read Ms Rose yet, what are you waiting for? :)