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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.6 out of 5
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  • Undeniably a page-turner

    The Safe Place is the eighth novel by Australian author, L.A.Larkin. Accusing the town’s favourite son, Marcus Harstad of domestic violence doesn’t win Jessie Lewis any friends. In fact, it makes her the target of ostracism for most in Eagle Falls, Washington. Jessie takes her dog, Bartie and moves to a cabin in the woods, avoiding unnecessary contact with the town, except for her gardening business. Marcus is the fire station captain, so she gives up volunteering as a firefighter too. When investigations show that the cause of the fire that took the Troyer family in their home is arson, many are quick to blame Jessie, recalling a very public argument between her and Paul Troyer over a payment dispute. And when Jessie is found at the scene of another housefire the next day, claiming she was trying to save her clients and friends, everyone is sceptical, and Sheriff John Cuffy is ready to arrest her. Former FBI agent, Ruth Sullivan, is a recent arrival with her family in her husband Victor’s hometown. When she meets Jessie at the self-defence class she gives for women, her opinion is not coloured by preconceptions. As she gets to know her, she’s inclined to believe Jessie’s claims, both about Marcus and the fires. But those who believe they run the town don’t appreciate her behind-the-scenes enquiries… Larkin gives the reader a fast-paced action-packed thriller set against a background of the escalating threat of forest fires in Washington State. Her depiction of the panic and chaos of the evacuation of a town under threat will resonate with readers in certain Australian towns. Her main characters are believable, although many are nasty and the arsonist is particularly chilling. Even if the underground confrontation between the main protagonist and the murderer is a little clichéd, with some suspension of disbelief required, Larkin’s plot has enough red herrings to keep the reader guessing right up to nail-biting climax. Undeniably a page-turner. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Bookouture.

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  • Great title, caught my attention from the start.

    I couldn't put this book down, I was drawn into the book from the first chapter. A great read by L.A. Larkin one that would be enjoyed by both men and women. I never suspected who the killer was and was taken by surprise at the end. Read and enjoy!

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  • Explosive!

    This book is explosive in every way possible! Every page has to be turned at speed as it’s jam packed with action. I loved reading from Ruth and Jessie’s perspectives. We have the former FBI agent and the accused. The twists and turns had me aghast. At no point did I guess the outcome. I found the descriptions of the forest fire as it slowly encroached on the town, haunting. I can only imagine how terrifying it must be to live in a house that is in such danger. If you love huge doses of action and the fight to unravel fist clenching levels of injustice, then The Safe Place has to be your next read!

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  • Top Notch!

    Jessie Lewis is ostracised by the community of her home town of Eagle Falls in Washington State when she accuses her boyfriend, Marcus, the fire chief and a local hero, of domestic violence. The town turns on Jessie once more when the Troyer family, headed by Paul all die in a fire at their home in the woods. Former FBI agent Ruth Sullivan is a recent arrival with her family in her husband Victor’s hometown. Sheriff John Cuffy and Marcus are looking to blame Jessie for the Troyers deaths. L.A. Larkin has treated the reader to a fast-paced action-packed, haunting thriller. Amidst a whirl of panic and chaos, there is the escalating threat of forest fires. The main characters are believable, although many are decidedly unpleasant. Rife with suspense I was wholly engrossed right until the unexpected conclusion. Well worth a read. I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Bookouture via NetGalley at my request and this review is my own unbiased opinion.

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