In the second volume in Hart’s (Moving On, 2013) mystery series, a young woman stoically overcomes a difficult past with her family as they work together to solve a series of horrible crimes.
Samantha Ryan’s parents recently died. Sam’s grandparents had disowned her mother. Sam’s husband left her for her cousin. Her daughter died. Now, after a successful year of being the principal at a failing elementary school in a rough part of town, Sam is looking forward to starting a life with her truelove, Thomas, formerly a best friend to her ex. But her mother’s family throws a wrench into those plans when they ask her to come to Mexico, where they inform her they need help treating her grandmother’s leukemia. Overcoming her differences with all of them, Sam has the family move in or nearby her home in Arizona. While she sorts out her issues with her mother’s side of the family, she begins to investigate the abuse of two of her students. Her ex-husband’s parents, who sided with her in the divorce, and her paternal grandparents have always been around to support her and volunteer at her school. Her current husband’s parents pop in and out of the picture, too. After Sam realizes that the children’s abuse leads to a missing mother, the family begins to work together to protect Sam, who feels she must do whatever she can to save the children. While the soap opera–like relationships may cause a bit of confusion, Hart’s fast-paced mystery picks up right where Moving On left off. Page by page, the mystery takes on new and more heinous levels of offense as Sam finds herself once again in the middle of it all. Despite the details of her everyday life, mixed with family drama and the growing scandalous felonies, Sam manages it all with grace and confidence. Readers won’t help but be swept away by the narrative, even if some of the storylines are a bit predictable.
An adrenaline-rush mystery with a love story thrown in that will leave readers ready and waiting for the series’ third.