Karen Rose – "You Can’t Hide"

5 Mar

GENRE: Romantic Suspense
PUBLISHED: Grand Central Publishing, 2007 (2006)

WHY THIS NOVEL: I really enjoyed two other novels by Rose.

The back blurb:
“Terror has forever changed the life of psychiatrist Tess Ciccotelli. Someone is tormenting her patients, pushing them to commit suicide, and setting her up to take the blame. But Tess can’t break her oath to protect her patients’ privacy at all costs. Even when detective Aidan Reagan demands a list of everyone she’s treating. Even when the mounting danger threatens Tess herself.
Aidan doesn’t like anyone who stalls his cases. Still, he can’t help but admire Tess’s fierce loyalty to her patients, especially when it becomes clear that a nameless, faceless enemy is set on destroying her career, her family, and, finally, Tess herself. As Aidan’s heart softens, the killer’s will hardens, and one thing becomes clear – the noose is tightening around Tess’s neck.”

Of the three novels by Rose I read so far, You Can’t Hide worked the best for me. Rose has a firm grasp on the story and the characters. You Can’t Hide is fast paced and there is (nearly) nothing in it that’s superfluous. The best part for me was its heroine who really struck me as professional and exceptionally strong in the face of all that’s thrown at her. I also enjoyed the theme of “keeping secrets/hiding things” that was present both in characters and events, although it was more notable in the first half of the story.

The ending was surprising. Although I think I should say that I don’t read romantic suspense constantly asking “who of the characters could be the villain?” (which probably makes reading it a bit moot). But if it doesn’t jump out at me for some reason, I don’t bother thinking about it too much. In You Can’t Hide it’s only near the end that the suspects are narrowed down and yes, I knew who it was the moment the villain turned up in the scene that was going to be the revelation scene. But that was pretty late in the novel and somebody has to be it after all, so I don’t see it as a jumping-out kind of thing.

I was a bit more bothered by the way all of it was wrapped up pretty fast. In particular, I was bothered by the way Tess ended up. Her career seems pretty much in the gutter at the end of the story and the epilogue is about her and Aidan’s wedding. While I think that Tess’s able to save her career I’m not so sure it’s something someone wants to do after all the things that happened to Tess. The way it’s presented, Tess seems to go from a very successful woman to a woman who’s married and … well, the villain accomplished some of his goals after all. It just struck me as sad that a woman who’s admirable especially in the way she handled herself professionally for the whole story, ends up without at least a small hint about her professional life and gets the marriage treatment.

Apart from that more story related problem, there are a few things which fall under the heading “my trouble with romantic suspense” or the short-time-frame thingy:
– A lot of things happen in just one week and it’s not just that a killer is around and the body count gets high fast. One thing after another comes and while it made for a fast-paced story, the sheer amount of things happening (or happened already) was a bit much near the end.
– “Romantic suspense” means there is some romance connected with the story and you all can take a guess what I have to say about that when I have trouble believing the true-love-in-a-couple-of-days scenarios in romance novels. Too often it relies on the shortcut of the hero going all growly and possessive and aroused at his first sight of the heroine as the sign of true luuuv. While there is some of that here, there is also enough of other things for me to believe that despite the short time frame, Tess and Aidan are a convincing couple and belong together.

I see the “short-time-frame thingy” at the core of the romantic suspense genre, so there is no real reason to “complain” about it. But I nevertheless included it here because – despite my general reservations about believability and a short time frame – You Can’t Hide never threatened my suspense of disbelief in that regard while reading. I was along for the ride and enjoyed the read, and it was only afterwards that I thought about the time frame.

Which is just my roundabout way to say that IMO Karen Rose wrote a near perfect romantic suspense novel with You Can’t Hide.

Would I recommend this novel? Yes.

Would I read this novel again? Probably yes.

Grade: 5- / 5


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