Title: The Buried by Shelley Coriell
The Apostles Series Book Two
Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Romantic Suspense
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
“It’s cold. And dark. I can’t breathe.”
Successful, ambitious state prosecutor Grace Courtemanche is at the top of her game. Then she gets a chilling call from a young woman claiming to be buried alive. Desperate to find the victim before it’s too late, Grace will do whatever it takes . . . even if it means excavating the darkest secrets of her own past and turning to the one man she thought she would never see again.
FBI agent Theodore “Hatch” Hatcher is a man without roots-and that’s the way he likes it. But when a grisly crime shatters Cyprus Bend, Florida, Hatch is dragged back to the small town-and the one woman-he hoped was in his rearview for good. Forced to confront the wreckage of their love affair, Hatch and Grace may just find that sometimes the deepest wounds leave the most beautiful scars-and that history repeating itself may just be what they need to stop a killer . . . and save their own hearts.
The Buried is a chilling and suspense-laden addition to Shelley Coriell’s outstanding The Apostles series. It is a riveting, complex mystery that is impossible to put down and I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of mystery/suspense novels. Although it is the second book in the series, it can be read as a standalone but you won’t want to miss a single installment in this superb series.
The Buried opens with state prosecutor Grace Courtemanche receiving a distressing cry for help from Lia Grant, a young woman who claims she has been buried alive. At loose ends after her recent court case has wrapped up, Grace tenaciously begins an investigation into Lia’s case and in the process, she runs smack dab into “Hatch” Hatcher, a man from her very distant past. Working together to catch a wily and vicious killer, Grace and Hatch discover the flames from their long ago relationship are still burning hot, but with so many of their past issues continuing to plague them, do they have a future? But most importantly, will Grace and Hatch catch the murderer before he claims another victim?
Grace is a strong, independent woman who lets nothing stand in her way and her determination to uncover the truth propels this case into local law enforcement hands. She has an overdeveloped since of responsibility and she gives the investigation 110% even if this means she has to work with Hatch, the one man she has been unable to forget. Grace has a bit of a rough edge to her but as the story progresses, her softer side comes out, which makes her that much more likable.
Hatch is a very charming, flirtatious man and while he comes across most of the time as fun-loving and easygoing, there is also a serious, focused aspect to his personality as well. Most of his issues stem from his dysfunctional childhood and although he is now in his 30s, most of his decisions, actions and reactions are a direct result of his past. But everything Hatch has always believed about himself, his desires and his plans are eventually challenged by Grace and another very unexpected person. Although the unfolding investigation is the most compelling aspect of the storyline, the evolution of Hatch’s character runs an extremely close second.
The mystery element of the plot is top-notch and virtually impossible to figure out. The killer’s identity remains closely under wraps for much of the story and it is only in retrospect that the significance of seemingly innocuous events and clues becomes clear. Equally intriguing is another murder investigation that takes place in another jurisdiction but it takes almost the entire novel before the two storylines converge together. All in all, it is a very perplexing and multifaceted mystery that concludes with very stunning and dramatic revelations.
Hatch and Grace’s romance is very understated but it adds a great deal to character development and the overall storyline. Their relationship never overshadows the investigation but it provides a nice break from the somewhat darker aspects of the ongoing hunt for the murderer. For much of the novel, Hatch and Grace tiptoe around the reasons their relationship ended years earlier but they do finally discuss what went wrong with an amazing degree of honesty.
The Buried is a fascinating and captivating mystery that old and new fans of The Apostles series do not want to miss. With plenty of suspense and unexpected plot twists, Shelley Coriell brings the novel to a jaw dropping and action filled conclusion that will leave readers impatiently awaiting the next installment in this well written and incredibly spellbinding series.