Date of publication: September 1st, 2023
Genre: Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Paranormal
Series: Haley Arquette Murder Files
Perfect in Death—Book 1
Deceptive Silence—Book 2
Unlikely Justice—Book 3
Purchase Links: Kindle
A straight-laced FBI agent.
A psychic PI solving a murder.
The spirit who haunts them.
Ancestry rooted in the occult sets Hailey Arquette apart in the small town of Hamchet. It also hampers her investigation of a teen’s death. She must navigate the shadowy world where betrayal walks hand in hand with a smile.
A threat against family forces Agent Trenton Briner back to Texas where his childhood friend leads him into a mystery steeped in whispers of Vodou and magic. At each turn, he finds the raven-haired woman who haunts his dreams.
When an unknown entity saves Hailey’s life, she discovers she’s not the only one holding secrets and is willing to risk everything to learn the truth about the spirit haunting her.
Perfect in Death is the first book of a bone-chilling Supernatural mystery series with lovable characters, dogs, and a touch of romance.
The red-eye flight from Pennsylvania to Texas left Trenton Briner tired and edgy.Perfect in Death by Reily Garrett
Important things you need to know about the book:
Pace: The book does start slowly, but the author introduces the main characters and the reasons why they are in Hamchet. The storyline does pick up speed after the first couple of chapters and alternates between medium and fast for the pacing.
Trigger/Content Warning: There are trigger warnings in Perfect in Death. If any of these triggers you, I suggest not reading the book. They are:
- Child Death (moderate and off page)
- Death (moderate and most are off-page)
- Drugs (minor)
- Gun Violence (moderate)
- Miscarriage (minor and off page)
- Occult (moderate to graphic)
- Adult/minor relationships (minor and off-page)
- Infidelity (minor and off page)
- Gambling Addiction (minor and off page)
- Alcoholism (minor and on page)
- Dead bodies (moderate to graphic and on page)
- Car accident resulting in death (moderate and on page)
Series: Perfect in Death is the first book in the Hailey Arquette Murder Files series. Since this is the first book in the series, you jump right in and enjoy the book. A character from the last series is introduced in this book, and there are references to other characters from other series.
Sexual Content: Perfect in Death is a clean book. There are no sex or sexual situations in the book. There is some brief nudity. There are also mentions of sex, but the author doesn’t get into detail about it other than it was on a desk.
Language: There is moderate swearing in Perfect in Death.
Setting: Perfect in Death is set entirely in Hamchet, Texas.
Tropes: Bad Guys Who Can’t Aim, The Unlikable Victim, The Twist Ending, Missing Children, The Stalker
Age Range: I recommend Perfect in Death for anyone over 21. I went back and forth because of the lack of sexual content. But ultimately, I felt that the trigger and content warnings put the book into the over-21 age range.
Plot Synopsis (as spoiler-free as I can get):
Trenton Briner has returned to his hometown of Hamchet, Texas, after a prolonged absence. But he isn’t in Hamchet to visit. Instead, he is there to protect his sister, Leigh, and her best friend, Hailey, after a psychopath tells him that they were next to be harmed/killed. He was not expecting that he would be living with and trying to protect the spitfire that is his sister’s best friend.
Hailey Arquette grew up saturated in the occult. Using her love of photography, detective work, and her gifts, Hailey gets her PI license and opens an office in town. Her first case is investigating the disappearance of two girls, years apart. With Trenton in tow, Hailey starts to peel back the layers of mystery that surround the case and, in turn, unearths an enemy that is closer than she thinks. With the help of a spirit, a girl named Casper, who attends the school where the victims attended, and Trenton, Hailey races to solve this case. But can she solve it before she gets killed? And is she ready for the implications and deep-seated secrets that it could potentially unearth in her own family?
Trenton Briner: I liked Trenton, but he was so uptight. There were points in the book where I wished he loosened up a bit. But, considering that he was the straight man to Hailey (who did things unconventionally), I wasn’t surprised that he was written the way he was. He did grow on me. Everything he did in the book came from a place of love and a need to protect. I also liked that he knew that Hailey did what Hailey wanted, and he was there to back her up.
Hailey Arquette: I enjoyed reading her character. She was like a bulldog with a bone; she wouldn’t back down or let go until she solved her cases. I loved her relationship with Leigh (even if the whole twin-speak thing they had going on annoyed me). She enjoyed baiting Trenton (the scene where she came into the kitchen in a tank top and boy shorts with him there made me laugh). But she was serious about her cases, and I loved seeing her in action.
Secondary characters: I loved the secondary characters. A couple of my favorite characters from the last series appeared in this book. There were some that I wish weren’t in the book because of how they treated Hailey, others that I didn’t like, and others that I loved. Each character added depth to Trenton and Hailey’s characters and their storylines.
Perfect in Death was a great read, and I couldn’t get enough of it. The storylines were well-written, and the paranormal angle enthralled me.
There is one main storyline in Perfect in Death. It centers on Hailey, Trenton, and her cases. I found the storyline to be well-written. I liked that the author connected Hailey’s original case to the case involving her father. How that ended was a surprise for a few reasons. I wasn’t expecting the connection to be what it was, and I didn’t quite believe the author’s explanation.
The paranormal angle in Perfect in Death was wonderfully written. I enjoyed that Casper was in the book. I found the Vodou/occult angle of the book to be fascinating. Usually, Vodou practitioners are portrayed as evil people who want to control everyone. Instead, the author showed the opposite. I was a little surprised at who the spirit was to Hailey. Even with all the hints given, it still took me by surprise. I also can’t wait to see how Hailey will grow into her powers. They were powerful in this book, and she was coming into them. So, I am sure her powers will only grow during the series.
The mystery angle was also well-written. I liked how the author kept throwing distractions around and how she kept everything under wraps until the end. I thought I knew what was happening, and I thought I knew who the killer was. Well, I was wrong. I was utterly surprised at the reveal, mainly because of the twist.
The end of Perfect in Death was open-ended. The author did wrap up the cases that Hailey was working on. But everything else was left up in the air. That got me very excited to read book 2!!
Many thanks to Reily Garrett for allowing me to read and review Perfect in Death. All opinions stated in this review are mine.
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