Perilous Cove, by Rich Bullock (RichWords Press, 2014)
The night after her husband’s funeral, 39-year-old Natalie Clayton barely survives an arsonist’s fire only to discover she’s the target of a killer. Her bank account is empty, there’s a new life insurance policy in effect for her—all the evidence points to her deceased husband, Jack.
Jack’s controlling ways have cut Natalie off from friends, and her family is dead. And he changed his life insurance policy to benefit his mother, leaving his wife with nothing.
Investigating detective Addison Conner takes Natalie into his home, but when that puts his daughter Mandy in danger, Natalie flees Missouri.
A cross-country drive brings Natalie to the secluded coastal village of Perilous Cove, California. She changes her name to Samantha Riley, takes a job on a whale-watching boat, and begins to rebuild her life. Natalie/Sam misses Addison and Mandy, wishing for the family she’s never had, but the killer is still after her.
Perilous Cove is explosive from the opening scene with arsonist and murderer Tarz Broderick at work, and achieves thriller-level intensity in places as Natalie/Sam fights for her life. The nature of the story allows a lull in the action once Sam is settled in Perilous Cove, but the danger never truly fades.
Natalie/Sam, Addison and Mandy, and later Millie and Star, are believable characters worth spending time with, and the greater the danger, the more we care about them. I enjoyed watching Sam begin to think for herself and to build a new life and relationships.
You can find author Rich Bullock, and learn more about his Perilous Safety series, at Perilous Fiction.
[Review copy from my personal library.]