3.5 Stars (rounded up to 4 for major sites)
Date of publication: December 29th, 2019
Genre: Romance, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Series: Moonlight and Murder
A Critical Tangent—Book 1
Enter world where ignorance and darkness mask chaos and deceit.
Keiki’s focus on designing drones shatters one morning when her prototype records the murder of her friend. Captured video detailed the masked killer’s promise to find his witness and finish the job.
Experience has given her good reason to not trust cops, especially when they come knocking on her door. Their suspicions narrow when her roommate disappears without a trace.
Conflicting evidence at a brutal crime scene leaves gossamer threads weaving a complicated web of lies and deceit. Every lead Detective Garnett finds steers the investigation to a deeper, darker network entangling Keiki in a labyrinth of cunning subterfuge.
Garnett is torn between following the letter of the law and protecting the witness determined to clear her name. Can he earn Keiki’s trust in time to save her life, or will a psychotic killer destroy the woman who has demolished his emotional barriers?
“Aw, Keiki, if I could find the fun button in your brain, I’d switch it to permanent on.”Critical Tangent by Reily Garrett
When I read the blurb for A Critical Tangent, my attention was caught. I have read very few books where drones have been made part of the plotline. Add in that the drones were part of a murder mystery, and I knew I needed to read the book. Add that it is romantic suspense, and I would have been a fool to turn this book down.
A Critical Tangent had a fast-moving plotline. I like the fast-moving plotline in these genres. My only fault with a fast-moving plotline is that sometimes there are dropped plotlines/characters. I didn’t find that in A Critical Tangent. But I did find that there were some interesting facts (that kept coming up) that would have made for a fantastic secondary storyline. There was a tiny bit of lag towards the middle of the book, but the author was able to bring the book back on track with no trouble.
I was not too fond of Keiki during the first half of the book. She was vehemently anti-police, held back vital information about the case, and was just an overall pain in the bottom to Coyote and Noah during the investigation. I did start to like her in the second half of the book. She didn’t quite do a 180, but she came close.
I liked Noah. I liked that he was able to look at both sides of the case and was able to make decisions based on the facts. I liked that he dealt with Coyote’s insinuations with a sense of humor (at times). I was a little put off that he treated Keiki like she was a kid. By the way, he acted, I was expecting him to be considerably older than her. So, when his age was revealed, I was surprised.
The romance angle of the book was very slight. In hindsight, I am glad that the author wrote it that way. If Keiki and Noah’s romance had been written any other form or introduced sooner in the book, it would have taken away from the main story.
I do want to include a trigger warning. There is a harrowing scene where Keiki and Gabby are being held together. Gabby confesses to Keiki that she has been repeatedly raped and beaten for information. It is a raw scene, and it is made even more so by what happens after Keiki escapes. There are also a couple of smaller scenes where the kidnappers (and Porter) talk about raping Gabby. So, if that triggers you, I would suggest either not reading this book or entirely skipping those scenes.
I was confused by the main plotline at first. While I understood that someone was after Keiki and her drones, I didn’t understand why. Even the small chapter with Gabby and Porter didn’t explain anything. It wasn’t until the middle, when Porter explains everything to Keiki, that it finally made sense. I wish that explanation had come sooner.
I will say that the whole drone/Porter storyline was interesting. My attention was caught when the drone was used to attack Keiki at the Fun Run. I also liked that the author explained everything, down to how they were made. Now Porter did freak me out. He knew things he shouldn’t, and he was gunning for Keiki. I will say that he got what was coming for him.
The end of A Critical Tangent was excellent. The author did a good job wrapping up all of the storylines. I was excited to see how Keiki and Noah ended up. I was also excited when there was a hint as to who the next book was about.
I would give A Critical Tangent an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I would reread A Critical Tangent. I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**