Harlequin have very kindly given me access to the ARC of Wrong Alibi by Christina Dodd and invited me to participate in their official BLOG TOUR! It was published on 29th December and I'll start by telling you all about the book and the author and then I'll dive in with my review.
Eighteen-year-old Evelyn Jones lands a job in small-town Alaska, working for a man in his isolated mountain home. But her bright hopes for the future are shattered when Donald White disappears, leaving her to face charges of theft, embezzlement—and a brutal double murder. Her protestations of innocence count for nothing. Convicted, she faces life in prison…until fate sends her on the run.
Evie's escape leaves her scarred and in hiding, isolated from her family, working under an alias at a wilderness camp. Bent on justice, intent on recovering her life, she searches for the killer who slaughters without remorse.
At last, the day comes. Donald White has returned. Evie emerges from hiding; the fugitive becomes the hunter. But in her mind, she hears the whisper of other forces at work. Now Evelyn must untangle the threads of evidence before she’s once again found with blood on her hands: the blood of her own family...
New York Times bestselling author Christina Dodd writes “edge-of-the-seat suspense” (Iris Johansen) with “brilliantly etched characters, polished writing, and unexpected flashes of sharp humor that are pure Dodd” (ALA Booklist). Her fifty-eight books have been called "scary, sexy, and smartly written" by Booklist and, much to her mother's delight, Dodd was once a clue in the Los Angeles Times crossword puzzle. Enter Christina’s worlds and join her mailing list at www.christinadodd.com.
It seems that Christina Dodd is a lot of people’s ‘go to’ authors, however I must admit I had not read any of her work prior to reading Wrong Alibi. I will certainly keep an eye out for more of her work though as this book had me hooked from the outset and I finished it within a day.
Evie as a character was interesting, she had a very detailed backstory that is told in flashbacks at the start of the book. We get a few time jumps in the first half of the book but they all seemed easy enough to follow and I was invested in both of the timelines which is unusual for me as I usually try to skip one in favour of the other. Although the younger Evie could be heavily criticised as being stupidly naïve and I am usually the first to (internally) yell at characters for making idiotic decisions, it seemed to work well within the context of the character and gave Evie some depth.
The setting of the wilderness camp was nicely atmospheric and I enjoyed this part of the book. I didn’t really understand the motivations or actions of her boss at the camp though, particularly his behaviour after Evie had left. This just seemed a convenient plot device rather than revealing more about him as a character.
There were some really nice twists and turns in the book, and the end reveal I did not see coming at all which was refreshing. There were a few… questionable decisions by the author which I did not enjoy though. Zone seemed like a poorly drawn character and I felt the intimate moments with him and Evie felt very unrealistic and out of character for them both.
This book works very well as a standalone story and I don’t really understand how it is the first book in a series – nothing is set up to lead us to another installment. Perhaps a secondary character is the primary focus of the next one? Or perhaps it is the setting of Alaska itself and the next one will be completely different in terms of plot and characters? Although I’m unsure of the link I will certainly be keeping an eye out for the next one.
Overall, Wrong Alibi is an engaging thriller that kept me hooked throughout. Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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