REVIEW: HARM’S WAY | Sam Cross | Whiskey Creek Press |

Title: HARM’S WAY                                  
Website of Author:
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Genre: Romance/Thriller
Publication Date: 2010
eBook formats ISBN: 978-1-60313-745-4
Trade paperback ISBN: 978-1-60313-746-1
Length: 328 Pages
Format: eBook      

Reviewer: Clayton Bye

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Clare Boyd is a successful businesswoman whose world is built on a foundation of glass. When her husband, whom she loved dearly, convinced her to carry an accidental pregnancy to term, Clare divorced him a week after the baby was born. A late night with the ultimate client ends with him missing and Clare outside, in a park, in the arms of a statue of an angel, with no memory of the evening. Instead of going to the police, Clare goes manic, trying to cover up her involvement. And then there are the dreams, which turn out to be a reality Clare is not prepared to face.

But face it she will, because someone is carefully pulling back the layers of Clare’s past. This is someone who’s willing to harm everyone who gets in his way—as long as it brings Clare closer to the future he envisions for her.      

Harm’s Way, an appropriate title, takes us through the meltdown of a top corporate executive who is poised to take the reigns of the entire company. How can an individual like this unravel in just a few days? Sam Cross shows us, in detail.

This romantic thriller is crisp, professional and character driven. Ross is obviously at home with the genre(s), and I’m sure his fans will love Harm’s Way. For my part, I found this 328 page novel just zipped right on by, which, in my world, means the author did exactly what he’s supposed to do: he drew me in, suspended my disbelief, connected me with his protagonist and kept the tension high enough for me to keep turning those pages.

I did have a couple of concerns.

First, Cross revealed his antagonist/evil doer about half way through the book. He even took us back through scenes we had already seen through Clare’s eyes. Risky business, that. He could have lost me right there. In fact, I found myself saying “What the hell?” You see, by making the choice he did, Cross diluted a great deal of the suspense he had worked so hard to build. And I didn’t understand it. But... Harm’s Way is not a novel of suspense; it’s a thriller. So, believe me when I tell you the author’s seemingly unorthodox choice pays off: there are many more thrills to come, some plot twists you won’t expect and a pace that never lets up.

Second, there’s the questions: Would a seasoned trench fighter like Clare melt down as quickly as she did? Do her actions resonate with who she’s supposed to be? If one follows very closely, Cross answers these questions (in a way) early on in the story. Clare divorced her husband and walked away from her one week old daughter. What would make someone do that? The answer explains Clare’s behaviour throughout the book.

My problem is, I’m not sure, even with Clare’s history, that a mother would walk out on her baby and a husband she loves and who loves her. So, I didn’t quite buy the answer Cross gives the reader. What this means for me as a reviewer is that I would probably give this book a 4 out 5 rather than the perfect 5 (if I used such a scale). However, I’d rather put it this way: just because I have a few issues with Harm’s Way that diminished my enjoyment, doesn’t mean you will. Sam Cross has given his readers a terrific thriller!

Copyright © Clayton Clifford Bye

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