Be A Good Girl by Tess Diamond
Series n/a; standalone
Genre Adult Romantic Suspense
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date March 27, 2018
In Tess Diamond’s third romantic thriller, an FBI agent teams up with the one woman who can offer the salvation he needs as they search for a serial killer.
As the head of an elite FBI unit, Special Agent Paul Harrison seems to have everything figured out, but beneath the surface, an internal war is raging. When he returns to his rural hometown for the first time in a few years, he’s faced with the memories that led to his losing the love of his life.
Fifteen years ago, Abigail Winthrop’s best friend, and Paul’s girlfriend, was murdered by the infamous serial killer, Doctor X. Now an investigative journalist, she’s determined to find the truth. But when Abigail discovers evidence that clears Doctor X, she realizes the real killer is still out there and is striking again when local young girls begin disappearing.
Turning to Paul for help, Abigail joins forces with him. As an undeniable attraction develops between them, they must heal deep wounds from their past—and find a relentless psychopath who could extinguish their hopes for a future together.
The images created in the mind of a reader are harsh, intense, and violent. The story takes the mind to the dangerous and deadly road of hunting for a serial killer where no one is safe, where the target is clear, yet the culprit manages to outsmart the law, the best in the field to find the killers and solve the fatal situations. The story is riveting, it is nearly spellbinding in a way it wrapped itself around my mind making it unputdownable until the end was there, in the early morning hours when the culprits were caught, and I could breathe again.
The suspense is savage and cruel. There are the Hannibal Lecter-moments that had me biting my nails, bringing the nightmarish atmosphere to the tale. There are those desperate moments when hunting for clues, the moments of knowing something to be true yet unable to prove it. I was mesmerized by the teamwork and the effort the characters put into the case, their dedication and determination were admirable.
For the perfect balance for the ghoulish serial killer hunt, bringing a different kind of intensity to the stage was the lifelong relationship between Special Agent Paul Harrison and Abigail Winthrop. The chemistry between Paul and Abigail was palpable, yet the tension of the past mistakes, the hurt, and the secrets revealed are like a wall between the childhood friends.
The budding romantic relationship has a solid foundation between the two who had most of their lives been the home, the safe place, to each other. Yet there were issues they needed to solve, to talk through, to heal from, forget and forgive. The attraction between them is as tangible as the connection they have. Being in each other's arms there is a fervent passion but also there are healing powers in the tender touch, in the hugs, and the kisses they share with each other in the middle of the mayhem and commotion.
Could the emotions between them and churning inside of them been taken to another level, deeper depth to bring more angst to the tale - sure, but in my mind, the crimes of the serial killer were such vicious, heinous acts, the new state of the relationship between Paul and Abigail was the counterbalance I needed, just as it was, to be able to truly enjoy the story without taking me completely into a dark abyss of the turmoil.
An alluring tale of two childhood friends who are in the middle of the turmoil with a serial killer on the loose and hunting for the next victim. The crimes are ghastly, violent, unimaginable, yet the tender, sweet, compelling attraction and deep emotion between the hero and the heroine bring the perfect balance to this intense, strong, and powerful romantic suspense story.
I loved it, could not put it down until the end, the smoothly flowing, well-written tale just pulled me in and kept the hold.
~ Five Spoons
Abby took a deep breath, her eyes settling on the words. This was it. In just minutes, she’d be face-to-face with him. Her heart was hammering in her chest at the thought.
She turned back to Stan, and was surprised at how troubled the older man looked.
“Are you sure about this?” he asked her.
“I’m a big girl, Stan,” she said. “You don’t have to worry about me.”
“Look . . .” He licked his lips, looking nervous.
“He’s tricky. Really tricky.”
“I’ve heard the rumors,” Abby said.
She didn’t need the rumors. She knew from real life exactly how sick the man she was about to meet was. She had spent the last two years learning everything there was to know about him. She’d talked to every teacher he’d ever had, every relative who was willing to speak to her and not slam the door in her face. She’d talked to every single person who’d even had a modicum of contact with Howard Wells, better known as Dr. X.
She knew him. And she was about to use that knowledge to get what she wanted from him.
“I just want you to be careful,” Stan said. “He knows exactly what to say to get to you.”
“I know he talked an inmate into killing himself,” Abby said.
“Not just one,” Stan said quietly, looking over his shoulder nervously before lowering his voice and adding, “And not just inmates.”
Abby’s eyes widened at the implication. She knew she should press Stan for more information, but she also knew she could ferret out the truth herself with a little research. She didn’t want to make him even more nervous, especially because he was authorized to cut her meeting short if he deemed the situation unsafe. “I appreciate your concern,” she told Stan.
“But I’ll only be asking him questions.”
“Okay,” Stan said. “Just don’t get too close.” He took her through the same rundown she’d gotten when she’d first entered the prison: no contact, no passing the prisoner anything, and no getting within even ten feet of the prisoner. Abby had a feeling that the last one was a specific rule for the man she was about to see.
The solitary wing was quiet as they walked through it to the very end, where a door led to another, even more isolated section.
“Inmate 3847, your visitor is here,” Stan called out. Abby’s skin prickled at the change in his voice. When talking with her, he had been kind, almost grandfatherly. But now, his voice was stern and authoritative, full of “don’t fuck with me” attitude.
“You sit here,” Stan said, pointing his baton at the bench set a good ten feet away from the thick, clear plastic wall that made up the front of Howard’s cell. “Inmate 3847, come forward.”
There was a pause, and Abby had to bite the inside of her cheek as he shuffled into view.
Howard Wells was fifteen years older than the last time she’d seen a picture of him, but he was no less terrifying. Goose bumps—the dreadful, horror-filled kind—spread across her skin as his eyes met hers.
His hair was gray now, slicked back, the comb tracks visible, like he’d carefully groomed it for this meeting. His orange jumpsuit was clean and tidy, his bright blue eyes shining in his craggy face.
His feet were shackled, but instead of his hands being cuffed, he was in a straitjacket, his arms lashed to his sides. Despite this, he held himself like he was the emperor of his own tiny kingdom. Like she was a serf who had the honor of experiencing his presence.
Abby showed no emotion as she sat down, placing her notebook and pen in her lap. Stan hovered in the corner, and Abby gave him a small nod.
“I’ll be right outside,” he said. “Panic button is right here.” He pointed meaningfully at the red button on the wall. “Don’t try any of your manipulative shit, Wells.”
A light tsking sound filled the air as Stan left them alone, and Abby stared at him. He came forward, so he was just inches behind the thick sheet of Plexiglas that kept him from going for her. “Abigail Winthrop,” he said.
“Hello, Howard,” she said. She refused to call him Mr. Wells. And she certainly wasn’t going to call him Doctor. There wasn’t going to be any deference here.
She wasn’t playing his game. She was here for answers—and she was going to get them…
Tour Wide Giveaway
To celebrate the release of BE A GOOD GIRL, we’re giving away a paperback copy of SUCH A PRETTY GIRL by Tess Diamond!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback copy of Such A Pretty Girl by Tess Diamond. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends 4/10/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address. Duplicates will be deleted. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About Tess Diamond
Tess Diamond is a romantic suspense addict with a taste for danger – and chocolate cake. She lives in Colorado Springs with her law enforcement husband, two kids, and ferocious Jack Russell guard dog. She always dreamed of being an FBI agent, and now she almost is – if watching 24 reruns and plotting her next novel counts.