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Throwback Books: Walking After Midnight by Karen Robards

Throwback books is a new section of Mystery Sequels where I review older books written more than 10 years ago, and I am starting with Walking After Midnight by Karen Robards, the author of  Dr. Charlotte Stone and Jessica Ford series.

I had the book in my TBR pile for close to 20 years now, and it was high time I picked it up. These days I mostly read eBooks on my iPad, however, I still have over 1000 paperback and hardcover books on my various shelves at home and it’s high time I put them to good use.

Summer McAfee is the proud owner and sole main employee of Daisy Fresh, a cleaning company, and she is currently finishing her work at the local funeral home. Just as she is about to leave the place, she looks back and gets startled when a corpse twitches slightly. Or does it?

Summer is not sure what to do: should she go back and check or just leave? But what if the dead is not quite dead and by leaving it alone, the person might really die all alone in the night?

Putting her fears aside, she goes back only to be grabbed by the arm of said corpse. An arm that doesn’t want to let her go.

And much to her surprise, the corpse, all battered and tattered with a face so full of blue spots that she can’t see through them, gets up from the table and kidnaps Summer.

At this poin, our heroine is more than certain that he  – Steve – is no corpse. He is a man, rude, abrupt and seemingly ugly as sin (or maybe not, but who is to know what lie behind the bruises on his face), and very much alive. Holding her against her will. But to what nefarious purposes?

When she tells him that she has no idea who he is, that she is no part of any schemes to get him and she is nothing more than the cleaning service, he doesn’t believe her.

But when he tells him that she is an ex-lingerie model and the ex-daughter in law of the local sheriff – ex because she divorced her bastard husband -, the kidnapper takes a second look at her.

The two run away in her car (well Summer not willingly of course) and after some prodding she learns that he is an ex-cop who not only lost his job, but also his wife and pretty much everything in life after he got caught in cheating with DeeDee, his best friend’s wife. The same DeeDee who committed suicide in his office soon after he broke up with her telling her that he wanted to go back to his wife.

Pretty much the first half of the book was Steve being rude to Summer, even though in secret he was developing a crush on the airhead. The more he got attracted to her, the ruder he behaved with her. Typical macho male stuff.

A big chunk of the book was about the two running through the mountains to avoid being captured – because now that the bad guys knew that Steve was not alone, they were after Summer as well, to kill her or worse.

The book is a fun light beach-read, a typical romantic suspense with enough action to keep it going. And the action was plenty. From running away from bad guys to stealing food from some poor camper kids to trying to clear Steve’s name and getting the killers face justice, there was more than enough to keep you on your toes.

I guess the only thing I was slightly annoyed with in Walking After Midnight was the first part where Steve was basically an ass to Summer. I just can’t imagine real life people who are not actually criminals deal with other people this way.

But this is not real life, this is a romantic suspense story, and soon I was so engrossed in it that I forgot all about Steve’s early miserable traits.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a Karen Robards book, so I have to go back and catch up to her newer series as well.

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