Payback by Charlotte Mills is a mystery/romance novel that I must say is one of the most intriguing books I’ve ever read. The mystery begins in the Prologue with the reader seeing what looks like two murders. Starting in the first chapter we meet the main characters, Detective Constable Kate Wolfe and her superior officer Detective Chief Investigator Helen Taylor. The rest of the story which includes at least three somewhat related crimes and the romance between the two main characters are told through their eyes.
I have to tell you that I didn’t like the story through most of the first half of the book. The beginning (Prologue) was great. Then we see the two main characters teasing and playing tricks on each other as they try to figure out the crimes that are happening. This may be a cultural issue for me since the story is set in a small town in England, but honestly, if I had been Kate, I would have been reporting Helen to HR and probably would have been unemployed after a while. It also kept me from seeing the connection forming between the two. I almost stopped reading the book, but a fellow reviewer encouraged me to keep going, and boy am I glad I did. The mystery picked up steam in the second half with all kinds of evidence pointing to different suspects and sudden unexpected twists and turns. The sparks between Kate and Helen also burst into flame, and wow, were those flames hot. The end of the book is what turned my review from what I thought would be at best a three star review into five stars. I never saw that ending coming. Ms. Mills has created a brilliant and totally surprising ending. I am very glad I read this whole book.
If you love an excellent mystery filled with lots of twists and turns coupled with some very steamy romance, you must read this book. Just keep reading!
I received this book as an ARC from Ylva Publishing for an honest review. You can get a copy here