Her Darkest Secret
Author: Jessica R. Patch
Imprint: Love Inspired Trade
On-sale date: June 28, 2022
Format: Trade paperback, audiobook, ebook
a cold-case serial killer returns, FBI special agent Fiona Kelly has
one last chance to stop him before he claims the prize he's
The sight of a goose feather at a murder scene modeled after a children's poem is enough to make FBI special agent Fiona Kelly's blood turn to ice. Almost two decades ago, a feather was left with her sister's body—and with every subsequent victim of the Nursery Rhyme Killer. Now he's back. Only this time, his latest gruesome murder is a message to the only one who ever got away: Fiona.
Finding "Rhyme" is an obsession that's fueled Fiona's career—and destroyed her marriage to fellow FBI agent Asa Kodiak. Now Fiona and Asa have to put their past tensions aside and work together one last time. But Rhyme is watching, and catching this killer may force Fiona to reveal her biggest, darkest secret…the one only he knows.
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What I thought about Her Darkest Secret
Fiona is teamed up with her ex-husband, Asa Kodiak, who is the head of the SC unit. They have lingering feelings for each other that come out in full force when Fiona returns. I really liked the relationship here between Fiona and Asa. It is clear there are still very strong feelings here and also many conflicts that need to be worked through. Asa is a bit of a bear of a man and has a short fuse, which made him a more attractively flawed character.
There's other members of the SCU involved as well. Of all of them, I found Violet to be the most interesting character and I was very please to read at the end of the book she will be getting her own story.
As the SCU investigates the latest Nursery Rhyme killing, old wound and secrets are uncovered. It turns out that Fiona has been holding on to a secret for many years that has impacted her ability to see this case clearly. If you've ever wondered what happens to people who experience unimaginable loss and misery, this books explains that by putting them in law enforcement.
Her Darkest Secret pulled me into the story quickly and had me reading during my free moments to find out the mystery of the NRK. However, I did find myself more interested in the personal lives of the SCU members more so than the serial murder case, which was interesting in itself, but I really liked the interactions between the team more than the quest for justice in this particular story. Their individual stories are just as tragic as the victims of the serial killers they are hunting.
I would also like to mention that there is religious/spiritual content to this story. I suppose this is natural when dealing with the sort of evil in this story -- especially where the characters are also victims of these sorts of crimes. It's natural to question the existence of God, good and evil under these circumstances. There were a few times I felt it was a bit preachy, although that is my personal opinion and your experience may vary. It is one aspect of the story that sticks with me, though.
Overall, I enjoyed the reading experience with Her Darkest Secret. It kept me reading and I'm definitely hooked on these characters. I did find there were many names of suspects and victims to keep straight and that took some effort and the ending wrapped up very quickly after a slow progression to the conclusion, but mostly I really liked this story and I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.
Publishers Weekly Bestselling Author, Jessica R. Patch is known for her dry wit and signature twists whether she’s penned a romantic suspense, a cold case thriller, or a small-town romance. When she’s not getting into fictional mischief with her characters, you can find her cozy on the couch in her mid-south home reading books by some of her favorite authors, watching movies with her family, and collecting recipes to amazing dishes she’ll probably never cook. Sign up for her newsletter “Patched In” at www.jessicarpatch.com. Jessica is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary Management.