When I began reading published #WLW novels, there were a few authors that really caught my attention. I found myself looking for these writers’ works, and snatching up any of their new books. Gerri Hill is one of these authors. In fact, she is close to the top of the list. It shouldn’t be a surprise that I would ask to read Red Tide at Heron Bay, or that I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
This is a finely crafted romance/mystery and intrigue novel. The story is set in the small fishing village of Rockport, Texas with most of the action centered around Heron Bay Resort, a small cottage style resort right on the beach and run by Lauren Voss, one of the main characters. She meets Detective Harley Shepherd when the resort’s clubhouse is vandalized. At first, Lauren is not impressed with the detective at all. Harley reminds Lauren of her ex…and she wears unpleasantly wild Hawaiian shirts. The two are thrown together more and more as the initial vandalism becomes something much more dangerous and deadly.
The mystery part of the novel is well-written. The author keeps the reader guessing at the five W’s (who, what, when, where, and why), and even after we figure out the who, there is still the element of danger to the main characters and others. The romance fits well into the mystery as do the main and secondary characters. I could see the chemistry between Lauren and Harley even before they did. The setting is one of the best parts of the story, at least for me. It’s obvious Ms. Hill loves this area of Texas. It shows in her descriptions and her portrayal of the area in this book.
The author is great at using “red herrings” in her mysteries to divert attention or make the reader question who the real bad guy is. This is what I expect from a good mystery writer. There was one red herring in this tale that for some reason was never resolved. The characters talked about it for a chapter or two, and then it seemed to just disappear from the story. The problem is I got hooked by that red herring for a while and felt like something was missing when it wasn’t resolved. I know that this happens in real life. I’m probably just being picky, but it feels like a loose thread that someone forgot to tuck into a piece of knitting or crochet. The loose thread won’t unravel the whole piece, but it can be irritating.
Other than that one instance, I had a wonderful time reading this novel. I recommend it to all mystery and romance lovers, and especially to those who, like me, love Gerri Hill’s stories.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bella Books for an honest review.