Reviewed for Wit and Sin
Amanda Quick perfectly balances flash and glam with secrets and murder in Close Up. I adore the rich, atmospheric world of the Burning Cove series and it was oh-so-easy to fall into Vivian and Nick’s story.
Vivian Brazier has the boldness of a Katharine Hepburn character. She left her family’s wealth behind in order to make it as a successful artist in the modern style. Vivian freelances as a crime scene photographer to pay the bills and struggles with casual sexism, the bias in favor of traditional art, and hiding her crime scene photography job so that she’s taken seriously as an artist. I enjoyed this so much that I could easily have read a book just on Vivian’s photography career. Vivian truly sees people when she photographs them and her slightly supernatural sight makes her great at what she does. It also puts her in the crosshairs of the “Dagger Killer” when she picks up on details at a crime scene that the police missed. Protection comes in the form of Nick Sundridge and his dog, Rex. Rex is quite the scene-stealer, but his owner can hold his own. Nick has a supernatural skill of his own that includes callback to Ms. Quick’s Arcane Society series. The handsome private investigator has lucid dreams that help him solve cases, though some would see the dreams as a curse. It will take both Nick and Vivian’s skills – plus the help of some Burning Cove series favorites – in order to catch a killer.
Close Up is heavy on the suspense and I enjoyed the twists and turns the story took. That doesn’t mean Ms. Quick neglected the romance; in fact, it works really well. Both Vivian and Nick have had rocky relationships in their past (Nick in particular) but it’s clear they are made for each other. They are understanding, nonjudgmental, and supportive of one another. They also have an easy chemistry that makes watching their love story unfold a delight.
Close Up is the fourth book in the Burning Cove series, but it can easily be read as a standalone. As with every book in this series, I love the world Ms. Quick has created. Glamour hiding a seedy underbelly is often a theme and it’s an enjoyable one. Lush, engaging, and with mysteries and a romance that satisfy, I thoroughly enjoyed Close Up and I cannot wait to return to Burning Cove.
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.