Review – In Close by Brenda Novak

Publisher: Mira
Publish Date: Out Now
How I got this book: NetGalley


Claire O’Toole’s mother, Alana, went missing fifteen years ago. That was big news in Pineview, Montana, the kind of town where nothing much ever happens. Then, last year, Claire’s husband, David, died in a freak accident — after launching his own investigation into Alana’s disappearance.

Is Alana dead? Or did she simply abandon her husband and daughters? Claire’s determined to find out — and her former boyfriend, Isaac Morgan, wants to help. Although their relationship didn’t end well, he still has feelings for her. And yet it isn’t until he starts to suspect David’s death wasn’t an accident that he’s drawn back into her life.

Together, Claire and Isaac search for answers to the questions that have haunted Pineview all this time. But as they soon discover, someone’s prepared to kill so those answers won’t be found. . .
*Blurb from Goodreads*


This was the third and final book in the Bulletproof series by Brenda Novak, and it also happened to be my least favorite of the three. I absolutely loved the first book in the series, but for me, it only went downhill from there.

The disappearance of Claire’s mother has been haunting her for years. Her family wants her to give up the search, but she can’t seem to stop thinking about it and doing everything she can to solve the mystery. Then, when her husband was killed in a freak accident, Claire felt even more determined. she never imagined that her old flame Issac would be the one to step up and help her.

Isaac has regretted the day he let Claire go for years. Now that he is trying to help her find answers he is spending more and more time with her. He knows now that the one thing he wants is to keep her for good this time. Only now the same person who caused her mother’s disappearance might be after her. Will Isaac be able to fight to save Claire the second time around, or will she disappear forever too?

I really wanted to like this one, and had some pretty high hopes going in. I was excited to see how Novak would handle having such an old case come back after so long being a mystery. And in some ways I felt as if it was very well done. The case didn’t feel as if it was nicely put together and packaged in a way that would be easy to solve once re-opened years later. But at the same time, I felt as if the reader was left out of a lot of the investigative process.

I didn’t really connect well to either Claire or Isaac. There were times I thought that they were both immature and irresponsible with each other’s feelings, especially in the beginning. Claire also seemed very accepting about jumping back into a relationship with Isaac, which seemed odd given the way he broke her heart all those years ago. There was a lot about their relationship that felt forced and convenient. I wasn’t a huge fan.

I also was not happy with the ending, especially when we find out who the killer is. I don’t want to give anything away for those who are going to read it, so I apologize in advance for being vague, but…. While I thought the explanation for WHY the killer acted out, I didn’t understand the involvement of the accomplice. I just didn’t like it. At all.

PLUS, for those of you who were hoping that we would get some kind of resolution with Pretty Boy and the events of the ending of In Seconds, prepared for disappointment. Rex isn’t even mentioned once. 🙁

All in all I thought this was the weakest book of the Bulletproof series. I didn’t feel a huge connection between the hero and the heroine, and things that I wished would have been resolved were never touched. While the investigation of the crime was at times exciting and thrilling, the ending was a letdown.
I give In Close a C


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