Seagrass Pier, by Colleen Coble (Thomas Nelson, 2014)
Elin Summerall is a young widow caring for her preschool-aged daughter and for her mother, who’s slipping into dementia. Elin is also the recent recipient of a heart transplant—and now she’s remembering details of her donor’s murder.
The police don’t believe her, but it seems that the murderer does.
FBI agent Marc Everton’s investigation of the murder leads him to Elin. They’ve met before, but Marc didn’t know their one night of passion produced a child. Now Marc has to protect Elin, for the sake of his daughter.
I had trouble getting into this novel. Perhaps if I’d read the previous books in the series, it would have been easier. There is a large-ish group of secondary characters connected to Elin, with some inter-connections to Marc. I felt as if I’d walked into a room full of people and had to somehow remember their names and their relationships. Some of those relationships are complicated.
As well as the danger to Elin, her chemistry with Marc and her fears for her mother, there’s someone searching for an object hidden in Elin’s new home. Again, lots for readers to keep track of.
Ultimately I enjoyed the story, and I’m glad I kept reading. The suspense is good, and behind it is a subtle thread about identity and how it changes. Elin’s mother shows one facet of this, as she’s losing herself, and also in the way she talks about her youthful dreams and how they shifted over the course of her life. Elin explores another aspect. She’s been a wife. What does it mean now to be a widow? And along with the memories, her personal tastes are changing. Is the heart transplant turning Elin into her donor?
Colleen Coble is a USA Today best-selling author of romantic suspense, both contemporary and historical. Seagrass Pier is the third novel in the Hope Beach series. I don’t think this is her strongest novel, but it’s still a good read. For more about the author and her books, visit her website: colleencoble.com
[A review copy was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.]