|Title: “Deadly Summer“|
|Author: Denise Grover Swank|
|#Pages: 364 (Paperback)|
|Publisher: Montlake Romance|
|Release Date: January 9, 2018|
| NBIYH Rating:
I started reading Denise Grover Swank with her Rose Gardner series. I loved the sweet and innocent author’s voice for that main character, Rose Gardner. I find that the main character, Summer Butler, in “Deadly Summer” to have a very similar voice as Rose Gardner. The main difference is experience. Both the author and the main character, Summer, have more experience. The new character works well and although I’ve only given this book 3.5 stars, I have high hopes for this series.
Summer Butler was a child star, working as an actress in a hugely popular TV show. She played an teen sleuth, much like Nancy Drew. Now she’s pretty much washed up, broke and desperate. Her mother has betrayed her and stolen all her money and Summer knows she must find a job or lose her house and the family farm. When she accepts the lead role as a P.I. in a reality TV show she can’t believe when the producer announces it’ll be filmed back home in her small town of Sweet Briar, Alabama. She doesn’t want to go back and dig up all the old pain and secrets, not the least of which is the criminal actions of her mother. Summer has no choice, she’ll have to put up with a bitingly hurtful production manager and the ire of her former boyfriend who’s now the town’s police chief.
With a newly minted legitimate P. I. license and an imminent need for money, Summer will have to make the best of it all. She has to make this strange series a hit or she’ll never be able to save the family farm. When she finds an actual dead body the stakes go up and Summer decides she has to use her new license for real.
Our main character is easy to like and her angst is palpable. She feels as she owes her family back home a debt and the least she can do is honor her grandfather’s wishes. Save the farm but don’t tell anyone I asked for help. It’s a heavy burden but Swank makes you care about these southern characters. Swank adds great southern details and I found myself thinking and talking with a lilt in my voice.
We meet Summer’s entire family and liking them is not hard. This was a simple read, I finished the book in 24 hours. But I was surprised to find myself thinking about the characters the next day. I just couldn’t let them go. I wanted Summer to find happiness and save the farm. I wanted to see where her relationship with her mother would go. Although this first book wasn’t a “hit it outa the park” kind of book, I suspect the next few will become must reads. The series starts slow but I’m hoping it builds to something I really look forward to continuing.
If you want to read a palate cleanser between bloody, psychopath filled thrillers, then try this one. It’s a fun and easy read and it’s easily read in a day. You might just find yourself, like me, wondering just where Summer Butler and her merry band of misfits will end up