Book Review

Review: Here Lies North by Ava Harrison

It was supposed to be an easy article about Cain Archer.
Never did I think it would lead me straight into the arms of a serial killer.

When the magazine I worked for sent me to write a piece on The Elysian, and the recluse architect who created it, I didn’t know what to expect.
It certainly wasn’t him.
He was supposed to be cold and cruel, but to me, he was intoxicating. Magnetic. And impossible to quit.

The deeper I fell, the harder it became to ignore that inner voice, screaming that darkness followed Cain.

I wanted to be wrong.
Maybe it was all in my head.
But I needed to find the answers.

Nothing prepared me for what I discovered…

What if the person you took into your bed isn’t at all what he seemed? What if he’s the monster you’ve been searching for?

I absolutely love Ava Harrison’s writing. Trent Aldridge is one of my favorite book boyfriends ever and Skye Matthews is one of my favorite badass heroines of all time, so I was excited for this book. Layla Marks is a young writer who scores a plum assignment: stay the week at a magnificent and unique new luxury resort, plus interview the mysterious architectural genius behind it, Cain Archer.

Layla knows she’s lucky to have this opportunity but she had no idea how fortunate she really is until she meets Cain. They fall for each other almost instantly but there’s a missing women subplot and Layla’s trying to solve that mystery as well in the hopes of living her dream an investigative reporter. Cain doesn’t share much about his past and it’s clear he’s holding back, but what?

Maybe I built this up in my head too much before finally getting my hands on it or maybe (more likely) I’ve read so much dark fiction and true crime that I yawn at serial killers torturing innocent women, but this book didn’t do much for me. The first two-thirds (at least) was relationship focused and I was jonesing for more on the mystery. I wanted suspense but got a kind of awkward romance. The mystery didn’t play a big enough role in the story until the last chapters, which felt rushed. And the big twist at the end really didn’t make sense to me. A few sentences sprinkled around to build suspense would have made that twist really pop but we didn’t get that. Nothing happened in the story to suggest the action was justified or necessary so it fell completely flat.

It’s kind of crazy but this author has made me love tropes I normally hate, like hot bully billionaires who turn into adoring boyfriends, but her romantic suspense (usually my absolute favorite) falls flat for me. For that reason, I’m going to assume this is a style thing. A lot of readers adore this story and love the way it plays out but it wasn’t for me.

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