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Wednesday 6 March 2019

‘Say You're Sorry’ by Karen Rose

Published by Headline,
21 February 2019.
ISBN: 978-1-4722-4414-7 (HB)

I've observed before that Karen Rose doesn't just write meaty, complex crime novels; she builds whole worlds, peopled by a host of characters in and around the world of crime-fighting who take part in each other's stories. There are mini-series set in Baltimore, Cincinnati, Chicago and Philadelphia – and now a brand new one with lots of new people to get to know, in Sacramento.

Say You're Sorry focuses on two damaged souls: FBI agent Gideon Reynolds and radio presenter Daisy Dawson, thrown together when Daisy fights off an attacker and is left holding a locket which turns out to be a relic from Gideon's troubled childhood. He was trapped in a brutal religious cult until he was thirteen and carries scars both inward and outward. Daisy has her own issues which contribute to the fierce mutual attraction they discover (cue a couple of episodes of mind-blowing sex, another of Rose's strengths), and she becomes involved in his search for both the locket's original owner and the man she took it from.

Things get complicated very quickly, and we learn early in the story that the villain is a serial killer with major issues of his own. In the best Karen Rose style we follow him as well as the good guys, learning a lot more a lot sooner than Gideon and his colleagues in both the FBI and the Sacramento police.

Also, in the best Rose style, there are plenty of supporting players, many of who will lend themselves to future volumes set in Sacramento. The large Sokolov family have welcomed orphan Gideon into their midst, and soon do the same for Daisy, although she does have a father and three sisters elsewhere in the country. Two Sokolov sons are cops and help to track the bad guy down. There's also rookie FBI agent Tom Hunter, who proves capable beyond his years and experience, and is a prime candidate for a starring role in another book.

Throw in plenty of gore and a car chase or two, a couple of cute dogs, some first-class shooting and some highly topical workplace sexual harassment, and it's easy to see why Karen Rose's novels are never short. This one weighs in at well over 500 pages, but I still galloped through it in a few days because once I started reading, I didn't want to stop. Thank goodness for plenty of backlist to keep me going until the next new one.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick

Karen Rose was born 29 July 1964 at Baltimore, Maryland USA. She was educated at the University of Maryland. She met her husband, Martin, on a blind date when they were seventeen and after they both graduated from the University of Maryland, (Karen with a degree in Chemical Engineering) they moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. Karen worked as an engineer for a large consumer goods company, earning two patents, but as Karen says, “scenes were roiling in my head and I couldn't concentrate on my job, so I started writing them down. I started out writing for fun, and soon found I was hooked.” Her debut suspense novel, Don't Tell, was released in July 2003. Since then, she has published twenty-one more novels.

Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen, and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher for a few years, and is proud to have launched several careers which are now burgeoning. She lives on the edge of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with books, about half of them crime fiction.

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