Publisher: AR Hurne Publishing
Date of publication: April 7th, 2023
Genre: Suspense, Thriller
Trigger Warnings: Mental Abuse, Verbal Abuse, Kidnapping, Death, Grief
Series: Paige Hanson
The Diseased—Book 1 (review here)
Body Count—Book 2
Purchase Links: Kindle
Widowed sounded better than divorced.
Or at least it did the first time.
Despite having survived the trials and tribulations of The Diseased – Paige finds herself in a situation that seems even more impossible.
The President is dying.
Those four words set Paige’s life on a course she could never have predicted.
The President is dying, only Paige can save him.
Those eight words are the only ones keeping her friends Georgia and Violet alive.
The President is dying, only Paige can save him. She won’t.
It is those ten words that keep Paige motivated, that keep her sane.
The President is sick. Those four words are the tiny gap between life and death for me.Body Count by S.M. Thomas
Starting shortly after the events of The Diseased, Body Count follows Paige, Georgia, and Violet as they try to keep one step ahead of Paul, the President’s advisor. The President is dying, and Paige knows how to cure him. But she won’t tell. The lives of her son, Georgia, and Violet depend on her silence. Paige is also starting to remember the night of the car accident that killed her husband and caused her amnesia. What she remembers could be the thing that breaks her. What happened that night? Who can’t she trust? Will she be able to save her son and friends?
I don’t even know where to begin with Body Count. I was super excited when I got the heads-up email from the author and immediately downloaded it. I devoured this book. It took me over 3 hours to read. I read it in the car pick-up line (the best place for uninterrupted reading), at dinner, and in bed.
Body Count is the 2nd book in the Paige Hanson series. This book is not standalone. You need to read book 1 to understand what is happening in book 2. If you do read book two first, you will be confused.
Body Count is a fast-paced book that is set on the planet of Earth 2. Most of the book takes place in apartments where Paige, Georgia, and Violet are held captive or in the lab where Paige has done much of her work. This environment, along with the intense pressure that Paige is under for more than 90% of the book, is perfect for the book.
I liked Paige. There were times when I wanted to take her and hug her. Her mental state was shaky during the first half of the book. Not that I blamed her for feeling the way that she did. She thought she couldn’t trust anyone, including her best friend, Violet. She also was dealing with her memory coming back. It wasn’t like a waterfall, and everything came back at once. Nope, it was disjointed and confusing. There were things she remembered that didn’t make sense. But still, she was one of the strongest people in the book.
The secondary characters of Violet, Georgia, Ryle, and Paul were well-written. I liked that the author made it a point to make me not trust Violet, Georgia, or Ryle. Paul, on the other hand, was despicable. He was a faithful sycophant. Like Paige’s, my trust in Violet, Georgia, and Ryle wasn’t strong. I kept wondering what ulterior motives they had.
The main storyline was fantastic. As I said, Paige’s mental health was shaky for the book’s first half. It was understandable with everything that she had been through. She didn’t trust anyone and told her friends half-truths about things. It was understandable. But the book’s second half is where everything starts to pick up. Paige’s memory started returning, and she planned to get her, her friends, and her son out. There are a few big twists in the storyline that I did not see coming. It was sad when her memory returned, and she understood what her husband was trying to say. The author also didn’t hesitate to kill off the main characters. I was shocked at who was killed off. I didn’t see it coming and felt blindsided.
The end of Body Count annoyed me. Mainly because it ended with a To Be Continued. While I am glad that there will be another book, and I hope that Paige gets her revenge, I also wanted a resolution now (stamping my foot like Veruca Salt). I guess I’ll have to wait….sigh.
I would recommend Body Count to anyone over 21. There is language and violence but no sexual situations. Also, see my list of trigger warnings at the beginning of the post.
Many thanks to S.M. Thomas for allowing me to read and review Body Count. All opinions stated in this review are mine.
Other books by S.M. Thomas: