Growing up in a small town isn’t easy, especially when you’re the daughter of a local cult leader. Ten years ago, Eden Collins left Clear Springs, Montana, and never once looked back. But when the bodies of murdered young women surface, their corpses violated and marked with tattoos worn by her mother’s followers, Eden, now an FBI agent, can’t turn a blind eye. To catch the killer, she’s going to have to return to the fold. Sheriff Zach Owens isn’t comfortable putting Eden in danger, even if she is an elite agent. And he certainly wasn’t expecting to be so attracted to her. As calm and cool as she appears, he knows this can’t be a happy homecoming. Zach wants to protect her—from her mother, the cult, and the evil that lurks behind its locked gates. But Eden is his only key to the tight-lipped group, and she may just be closer to the killer than either one of them suspects…
I don’t know if many of you are familiar with The Devil’s Daughter. I hadn’t come across any reviews before I decided to read it myself. As soon as I read the blurb, I knew it would be an ideal choice for me. The plot was beyond intriguing and focused on one of my favorite themes ever: CULTS. I thought Elysia was fascinating and Martha, the leader, too. I’m always attracted to stories about manipulation and cult following, as well as ritualistic killings (such a romantic, I know) and this one had it all. And the prodigal daughter returns home…
I really liked Zach’s character, he was the classic tortured sheriff (yes, I have a weakness for stories about sheriffs and small towns) and he was very protective of Clear Springs’ citizens. I thought his character was easy to identify with. The mystery was compelling enough, although there aren’t too many suspects, so you can probably guess the culprit in the end. Still, I thought it was a captivating story and I was able to read it in just one day.
So what didn’t work for me? The romance. As simple as that. It’s not that I hate romance, in fact, I read a romantic suspense series not so long ago and I absolutely loved everything about it (The Gates of Evangeline), but here, I just couldn’t connect with their relationship at all. And I believe the book would’ve worked better without it. When a character that it’s supposed to be a fierce FBI agent and around 30 years old starts thinking stuff like: “He’s so attractive I can barely make eye contact”, I lose my patience. And the romance was so sudden and unnecessary that I wish it hadn’t happened. And it’s a pity, since everything else was right up my alley.
Anyway, The Devil’s Daughter is still a worthy book if you love cults and romantic suspense. I’d love it if the author decided to focus completely on the creepy side of things.
Netgalley, Montlake Romance, 2017