Killing SecretsKilling Secrets by Dianne Emley is the fifth book in the “Nan Vining” mystery series. Publisher: Random House/Alibi, July 2015

For fans of Patricia Cornwell, Tana French, and Lisa Gardner comes a razor-sharp novel of suspense featuring Detective Nan Vining—a single mother whose worlds collide when her teenage daughter stumbles upon a grisly double homicide.

When she gets the call, Nan Vining responds as a mother first and a detective second. Her daughter, Emily, has made a gruesome discovery in a secluded section of a Pasadena park: a pretty, popular young teacher from Emily’s high school and a bright yet troubled transfer student—both dead and bloody in a copse of trees. But the crime scene isn’t the only thing that seems off to Detective Vining. There’s also the cocky classmate who was with Emily in the park—the boyfriend she never knew about. What else doesn’t she know about her daughter?

As she attempts to channel both her maternal and investigative instincts into one single point of focus, Vining’s superiors at the Pasadena Police Department are moving at lightning speed. Before the evidence has even been processed, the case is closed as a clear-cut murder/suicide: a disturbed teenager murders his teacher, then takes his own life. Vining doesn’t buy it. Now she’s chasing dangerous, powerful people with secrets they would kill for—and taking them down means risking her own flesh and blood.

It’s been five years since I’ve last seen Nan and this fast-paced and riveting drama picked up where it left when Nan’s daughter gets tangled in the death of her teacher and student. When Nan suspects something more sinister, her love for her daughter propels Nan to pull out all the stops to solve this murderous crime.

How I have missed Nan Vining. What a great story that is expertly written and completely had me enthralled in the telling of this suspenseful and intense drama that I could not put down, quickly becoming a page-turner. I loved the frenetic pacing in this action-packed story that had my adrenaline rising, especially the one scene that left me holding my breath in a life or death situation. The author did a great job in setting this dynamically gripping mystery where tantalizing secrets are exposed and the outcome leads to some surprising revelations. Nan is a great heroine and I love her determination in the pursuit of justice. I also enjoyed the interaction with her co-workers, not knowing who to trust but yet getting the job done and the relationship with her daughter. I’m so happy this series is back and I can’t wait to see where we go next with Nan in this terrific series.

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