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2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 25 books toward her goal of 175 books.
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Book Review: Idyll Hands by Stephanie Gayle

This is such a great series! If you haven’t seen my earlier reviews of book one and book two, check them out. This is definitely a series that builds, and I think it would be tough to jump into it via this third book. That said it’s more than worth the back-reading. The books are easy to read – which is not at ALL to say that they are simplistic, just that the writing and pacing are so well managed that they are easy to fall into and burn through. I keep thinking the series can’t possibly get more engaging, and then with each new book I find myself grinning and calling out a mental “well done!” to the talented Stephanie Gayle…

In this latest installment, Chief of Police Thomas Lynch finds himself caught up in the backstory of Idyll’s police department. The resultant tale is a back-and-forth between Lynch and his part-time detective Michael Finnegan. Finny’s at the heart of this one, and it was fascinating to see him fully develop as a character. He’s played a relatively minor role in the previous books – present and part of the gang, but not a fully-fleshed out character in his own right. The insight into his character and personality were very interesting and I’m curious to see if he’ll remain a larger player or if it’s Gayle’s intent to flesh out the entire department in this way. If so, I hope she picks Mrs. Dunsmore for her next focus – the woman appears to underpin nearly everything in Idyll with a quiet, behind-the-scenes, grace that I just KNOW belies an inner core of steel… The other members of the department are also slowly but surely rounding themselves out into major players in the life of the town. Lewis Wright is another fascinating supporting player who is becoming more human with each book and his family drama promises an unsuspected slant in the coming books.

The mix of mystery and history in this one was a fun spin and gave the series a fresh direction. Not that it needed one, but it was a pleasant switch-up all the same. Gayle is doing a really great job managing expectations with this series, keeping things interesting and coming at her characters and mysteries from unexpected directions. It’s a nice way to keep things interesting and also a smart plan for what will hopefully prove to be a long-term series. For a small town, Idyll has more than its share of secrets and I for one cannot wait to see which are divulged next!

Thank you to Seventh Street Books for my review copy.

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