Black Diamond by Susannah Sandlin

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blackdiamond

Black Diamond by Susannah Sandlin
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense
Length: Full (266 pgs)
Heat: Sensual
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Poppy

For some people, the untamed beauty of the bayou is a place to hide. For Louisiana wildlife agent Jena Sinclair, it’s a place of refuge—one where she can almost forget the tragedy that scarred both her skin and her soul. But when the remains of yet another fisherman turn up, Jena realizes that Bayou Pointe-aux-Chenes is not safe for her…or anyone else.

The mysterious deaths aren’t her only problem. A dangerous drug known as Black Diamond is circulating through Terrebonne Parish, turning addicts into unpredictable sociopaths. Jena’s investigation leads her to Cole Ryan—a handsome, wary recluse struggling with his own troubled history—who knows more than he’s willing to admit. If they want to stop the killer, Jena and Cole must step out of the shadows of their pasts and learn to help each other…before the evils lurking in the bayou consume them both.

It was good to catch up with Jena Sinclair and the folks from the bayou. The book starts with a bang–a rather gruesome and honestly tragic death-by-alligator that broke my heart. It plopped Jena right back into an investigation after she was cleared to start working again. Everyone but Jena herself trusts her to do the job and make good choices, even (or maybe especially) her loquacious new partner, Mac.

But the crimes don’t stop with that body…there’s also a new drug in town, Black Diamond (or BSC, for “bat shit crazy”) and Jena finds out her younger brother is using. She brings in her former partner, Gentry, to help her make the right choices about that.

Cole was an interesting person. When we first meet him, he does something that makes me wonder if he’s at all trustworthy. Understand, I read an ARC that didn’t have a blurb, so I didn’t know who Jena’s love interest would be. Thankfully, Cole redeems himself. He’s a loner, true, and scarred (by the end, he’s scarred inside and out, but healing), but it’s those very characteristics that make him appeal to Jena. She’s scarred too, from nearly dying in book one, to doubting herself and her looks. She doesn’t think anyone could possibly find her attractive again.

Filled with plenty of twists, Black Diamond kept me turning pages. Nearly 1/3 of the book had Cole, Mac and Jena in a lot of peril and left me a bit breathless. I do wish a little more time had been spent developing their relationship (the book is definitely heavy on the suspense), but it still worked for me. Additionally, if you’re looking for a book with lots of sex, this isn’t the one for you. I think the physical part of the relationship between Jena and Cole was handled just right, but any more books seem really heavy on the sex. I was pleased that the author focused more on emotions than putting tab A into slot B.

I’m really enjoying the series and look forward to the next… who will be up next time? There are a couple folks Ms. Sandlin can choose from. I can’t wait.

Comments

  1. oooh…that sounds like a “I can’t put the book down” book.

  2. Sounds like a great book — right up my alley!

  3. kim hansen says:

    Sounds like a good read.

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