Published December 5, 2016
I don’t read a lot of romantic suspense novels, but after reading the description for “Finding Claire” I was immediately intrigued. I thought it sounded like a great story. I wasn’t disappointed.
The book starts 2016, in Texas Hill country with a woman who is kidnapped. She is transferred in a van, then locked in a closet. A couple of days later she’s able to escape. Unfortunately, she has no idea where she is but what’s worse she has no idea who she is. As she stumbles along through tress and brush, she comes upon what looks like an occupied cabin. She is close to losing consciousness and won’t be able to go much further. Just then she sees a cat in the window, she takes that as a good sign, and knocks on the cabin door.
It’s three in the morning when Alex Ramirez’s cat alerts him to the fact that someone is outside. Someone is banging on the door. He opens the door to a woman who is bleeding, covered in scratches with rope tied around her arms. She’s terrified and flinches when he tries to touch her.
She tells him she’s been kidnapped and that she escaped but that she doesn’t know where she’s from or even who she is. She has pictures with her that have the name Claire and Emma written on them and they are dated 1986. Alex asks if she’s one of the people in the picture, but she has no idea. He decides to call his friend, DJ who is an investigator with the local Sheriff’s Office and asks him to meet them at the hospital.
When they get to the hospital, the woman is checked over and interviewed by the investigator. She asks that Alex stays with her. She’s terrified that the men who kidnapped her will come looking for her. He assures her that he will keep her safe. For some reason she feels like she can trust Alex.
*** Possibly very minor spoilers. Usually things that are already mentioned in the description or within the first few pages of the book.
The doctor says that she has a type of amnesia but that her memory will come back in time. She decides to go back to the cabin with Alex, who tells her she can stay with him as long as she needs.The police don’t have much to go on as they don’t even know their victim’s first name. Alex decides to call her Rainy until they can find out who she really is.
All of this is bringing up old memories for Alex and we learn of a woman from his past, Ellie. He feels he wasn’t there for Ellie but he vows he will be there for Rainy. She is desperate to find out who she really is. Alex hopes he can make up for his past mistakes by protecting and helping Rainy.
Interspersed throughout the book are letters from a mother to her daughter. The letters start in 1987 and are dated every year on the daughter’s birthday. We are given more information with each letter. The letters are heartbreaking. You can feel the mother’s love and the agony of missing her child in each letter. The author makes you feel that pain and so many other emotions with her writing. I thought the letters were a great way of explaining some of what happened in the past from the mother’s perspective.
I really enjoyed this book. I found the author’s writing style easy to follow. I liked reading both Alex and Rainy’s perspective. A suspenseful read with a great plot and well-developed characters that I came to care about. I was very invested in the story and anxious to know how it was going to end. Overall, this was a solid and entertaining novel that I quickly devoured.
I am really looking forward to more from this author. Hopefully book two isn’t too far off.
Thank you, Pamela Humphrey for providing me with an advanced copy to read and review.