Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews

Sunset Beach: A Novel by [Andrews, Mary Kay]

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: May 7th, 2019

Genre: Mystery, Women’s Fiction

Where to find Sunset Beach: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Pull up a lounge chair and have a cocktail at Sunset Beach – it comes with a twist. 

Drue Campbell’s life is adrift. Out of a job and down on her luck, life doesn’t seem to be getting any better when her estranged father, Brice Campbell, a flamboyant personal injury attorney, shows up at her mother’s funeral after a twenty-year absence. Worse, he’s remarried – to Drue’s eighth grade frenemy, Wendy, now his office manager. And they’re offering her a job.

It seems like the job from hell, but the offer is sweetened by the news of her inheritance – her grandparents’ beach bungalow in the sleepy town of Sunset Beach, a charming but storm-damaged eyesore now surrounded by waterfront McMansions.

With no other prospects, Drue begrudgingly joins the firm, spending her days screening out the grifters whose phone calls flood the law office. Working with Wendy is no picnic either. But when a suspicious death at an exclusive beach resort nearby exposes possible corruption at her father’s firm, she goes from unwilling cubicle rat to unwitting investigator, and is drawn into a case that may – or may not – involve her father. With an office romance building, a decades-old missing persons case re-opened, and a cottage in rehab, one thing is for sure at Sunset Beach: there’s a storm on the horizon.

Sunset Beach is a compelling ride, full of Mary Kay Andrews’ signature wit, heart, and charm.

My review:

Drue Campbell has no clue what she is going to do with her life. She had lost her mother to a battle with cancer. She was injured in a kiteboarding accident that ended her career in that sport. On top of that, Drue was fired from her waitressing job after refusing to serve an underage patron. Then she reconnects with her father with who she barely has had any contact with since she was fifteen. Her father offers Drue a job at his law firm. He also gives her the keys to her grandparents’ house, a beachfront bungalow. A home that has significant damage done to it from the last hurricane.

Drue finds that working for her father not what she thinks it would be. Her father married her middle school frenemy. That frenemy is now the office manager, and she seems to have it out for Drue. Then a case rolls across Drue’s desk. A case that piques Drue’s interest. An unsolved murder. At the same time, Drue finds the case file for a woman who has been missing for over 40 years in the attic of her house. Drue is determined to solve both cases. Will she be able to solve them? Will her relationship with her father and her frenemy change?

There were three main plotlines in Sunset Beach. All three were well written. I enjoyed that I could go from plotline to plotline without any confusion. The author also did a great job of pointing out when the story went into the past. Those chapters were marked. I liked that I didn’t have to guess when they went into the past.

I liked all the storylines. I did find the storyline about Drue and her relationship with Wendy and Brice a little much. Drue pushed back on everything that Brice and Wendy did. While I understood, there was a point where I got sick of it.

I thought the storylines about the murder at the hotel and the cold case was interesting. The author did a great job of explaining what went into investigating both cases.

There was a huge plot twist in the cold case storyline. I was not expecting it. I also didn’t expect who was involved. I was shocked. The twist with the murder case didn’t surprise me.

I wasn’t a fan of Drue when she was introduced. She has so much resentment built up against her father. There was a point where I started rolling my eyes when she began “acting out.“ It made her look like a child. It also made me think less of her as a character. I did like that she was tenacious when it came to the murder case. She saw things that the police didn’t.

The secondary characters were terrific. They added the extra depth that the book needed.

I liked how the author didn’t have the bad guys didn’t do anything. Well, other than what happened to Drue. She chose to show the investigation against them. She decided to build the case up against them. It worked for me. There is a time for bad guys being all in your face and a time for them to be in the background. This was the time for them to be in the background.

Sunset Beach fit right in with the mystery genre. The author did a great job at keeping both mysteries, well, a mystery until the end of the book.

There was romance in Sunset Beach. It wasn’t hyped on, and the sex scene wasn’t graphic. I wasn’t a fan of it, though. I thought that the book could have done without it.

I enjoyed reading Sunset Beach. The plotlines were fast-moving and engaging. The characters were 3d, and I liked them. Well, for the most part, liked them. There were parts of the book that took me by surprise.

The end of Sunset Beach was interesting. It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. I liked it.

I would give Sunset Beach an Adult rating. There is sex (not graphic). There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Sunset Beach. I would recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank the publisher, the author and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Sunset Beach.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

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