Source- Review copy
Publication date- April 2012
Synopsis- National Parks Ranger Jo Lockwood is often alone in the wilderness, and she likes it that way – until she discovers the body of a man, brutally murdered.
Detective Nick Matheson’s new posting to the north-west of New South Wales is supposed to be an uneventful return to normal duties and a normal life. He knows organised crime from the inside out and suspects that the victim in the camping ground is not an isolated murder.
Jo is committed to helping the investigation but she has seen the killer’s face and now she’s at risk. Nick’s determined to protect her but as the body count starts mounting, his past and present collide, threatening the people he cares about most.
Trapped in rugged country in scorching summer heat, pursued by hunters who can’t afford to fail, Nick and Jo will need to trust each other completely, and use all their skills and knowledge in order to survive.
Review- Bronwyn Parry is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors and alongside a handful of other Australian authors has also made me fall in love with the romantic suspense crime genre.
Dead Heat is an action packed, suspenseful story set in the wilderness of the north-west region of New South Wales. Jo Lockwood is a woman passionate about nature and takes her job as a National Parks Ranger, very seriously. When she stumbles across the mutilated dead body of a man in her beloved parklands she is determined to help Detective Nick Matheson in his new position with the local police network to find the killer.
Jo and Nick are intriguing characters who at the outset are distant and detached but actually have many layers of complexities and many defences built up over the years with the aim to protect themselves and those they love. Jo has set her heart aside and focused on her work since the death of her fiancé five years prior while Nick has worked undercover for a decade alongside some of the deadliest criminals in the state. He has played so many roles in his life he is not quite sure he knows who the real Nick is anymore.
Despite the characters controlled demeanours, their analytical mindsets and tendency to continually scan the environment and evaluate each other and anyone else in their paths- I was drawn to them both because Parry provides a delicate insight into the conflicts of Nick and Jo both internally and externally and I really wanted them to break down their barriers and to find happiness not just with each other but to find contentment within themselves. But the risk of letting go and opening up is quite high for them both and in doing so could put each of their lives in danger- Nick has made many enemies during his life in the underworld.
There’s plenty of action in Dead Heat and an intriguing crime plot that has many twists and turns, continues to ramp up the suspense and Parry really puts her (poor!) characters through many, many hurdles to demonstrate their resilience right until the very end. Jo and Nick are tested emotionally, physically and professionally. The moment I picked up this book I didn’t want to put it down and I guarantee I won’t be the only one in that position!
Fans of crime and suspense who want strong, multi-layered characters and a dash of romance set in the Australian wilderness will love Dead Heat.
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About the author: I grew up surrounded by books, and have a love of reading and stories. Commercial fiction, literary fiction, children’s literature, history – my bookshelves are forever overflowing!
I write gritty romantic suspense, set in Australia’s wild places. My first two books, As Darkness Falls and Dark Country are both available in Australia, NZ and the UK, and As Darkness Falls, published as Schwarze Dornen, is also available in Germany. My third book, Dead Heat, will be published in April, 2012 in Australia. All three books should be available as ebooks through the main online retailers in Australia, the UK, Germany, and soon in North America.
You can download the first chapter of each book, find reading group discussion questions and more at my website, http://bronwynparry.com
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This book was read as part of the these two 2012 challenges: