Prolific romance author Beverly Barton, who sadly passed away earlier this year, has a solid and intriguing story in Close Enough to Kill. Jim Norton recently accepted a position as police captain in the small town of Adam’s Landing, Alabama to be closer to his son Kevin.
When a young, pretty, and popular brunette’s body is discovered naked and posed, sheriff Bernie Granger is shocked that a violent crime could penetrate the safe walls of her idyllic town, and she is leaning on the help of Jim, as captain, to catch this killer. But even Jim, who has experience with violent crimes from his time in Memphis, can’t outsmart this guy before a body of another pretty Brunette is turns up again.
Their killer takes his time stalking his victims by sending them jewelry and love notes. The women are flattered that they have a secret admirer until the correspondence gets more vicious, at which point the she is abducted, raped, tortured and killed. It is soon revealed that the victims had known their killer and willingly left with him, but which resident of Adams Landing could do this?
As the case heats up with more and more women missing, so does the heat between the nurturing Bernie and Jim, who craves the love of a women he can trust after having his heart broken by his ex-wife.
Barton really keeps you guessing by not revealing the killer’ identity until the very end. The romantic elements between Bernie and Jim as well as a a page-turning plot made for a very enjoyable read, and I am sad that we won’t hear more from this talented author.