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REVIEW: One Scream Away by Kate Brady

Dear Ms. Brady:

Brady-Kate-One Scream AwayWho ever is doing the acquisitions over at Grand Central of romantic suspense has brought another wonderful debut author. Grand Central is the home to Karen Rose, Annie Solomon, Marliss Melton, Susan Crandall, and now, Kate Brady. One Scream Away is a gripping romantic suspense, probably heavier on the suspense but the romance was quite strong.

I read all night with my heart in my throat. I recall even checking the length of the book to see how much was left because I did not think more bad things could happen to these people.

The bad guy is a very smart serial killer who has a specific plan he is going to carry out. He is one step ahead of the huge task force that is comprised of competent people who are working on few clues. One of those clues is Beth Denison. Beth has spent the past seven years with a secret and she is prepared to take that to her grave to protect her young daughter.

Neil Sheridan worked a case seven years ago, hunting down a serial killer of young women. He ultimately caught the man and ended up shooting the suspect in a chase. His preoccupation with catching the serial killer ruined his personal life and he walked away from the FBI. A murder happens that could have been done by the previous serial killer brings a police lieutenant to Sheridan’s door. He is asked to consult on the case because he knew the former serial killer better than anyone.

The FBI trace the phone calls from the serial killer to Beth and Neil is convinced that she knows something, but he is not sure what. Beth is a target for the FBI and the serial killer. Neil is starting to fall for her. Beth wants to lean on Neil but is afraid to let go.

There’s an underlying thread of family and the importance of children to their parents. There’s the overaching theme of trust. Neil needs Beth to trust him like others didn’t in the past and Beth believes she can only rely on herself. I liked that both characters made emotional sacrifices without the guarantee that the other would reciprocate because they loved each other and were willing to take a risk.

The suspense is centered around a vendetta the serial killer has against Beth. He is marking his way from Seattle to Arlington, Virginia, by killing women a long the way. After each kill, the killer calls Beth to share with her that she better get ready for him. Beth recognizes that this might be the end for her. She doesn’t entirely trust law enforcement but may have to be able to keep her daughter safe. I didn’t feel Beth ever acted too stupid to live even though she acted without law enforcement from time to time. Her actions were understandable.

The reader is allowed to see the villain do his work as he comes closer and closer to Beth on the East Coast. You see law enforcement fail time and again, outsmarted by the villain. There is no character that is safe from the villain.

The suspense is the stronger part of this book, but the romance was well integrated. Readers will find common elements in this book with other romantic suspenses and might even see the plot twists, but it was fast paced and, dare I say, a bit scary? I will say I was uncertain about whether the ending was gratuitous. Still, I’ll be the first in line for the sequel.

Best regards


This book can be purchased at Amazon or in ebook format from Sony or other etailers.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Tabitha
    Jul 17, 2009 @ 15:18:05

    I’m always on the lookout for a good romantic suspense. Thank you for the review, I’m going to check this book out!

  2. Sally
    Jul 17, 2009 @ 16:17:30

    I really like Karen Rose’s books so I’m excited to find a new author.

  3. Collette
    Jul 17, 2009 @ 16:27:04

    You know, these $2 books are genius. I always buy every single one of them, even if I’m not sure that I’ll like them. And, of course, there’s been at least 1 or 2 I’ve liked enough each time to go and get more of that author’s books. Genius. Now if we could just get rid of DRM… ;-)

  4. Maddie
    Jul 17, 2009 @ 18:09:15

    Wow this book sounds good read the revies in RTs and thought I might do a look see at Borders but your review sealed the deal……. Thanks for the heads up.

  5. Janet W
    Jul 18, 2009 @ 08:54:52

    I disagree. I literally just finished reading it. I rely on sites like this and AAR to help me choose books that I’ll enjoy, possibly re-read and once in a while, put on my keeper shelf. Let me explain. Linda Howard has always been one of my fave authors. I just re-read Dream Man which for me is a perfect blend of suspense and humour and great romance.

    One Scream Away had literally one page of the h/h in bed altho to be fair, the author does show the increasing sexual tension. I agree that they were both appealing characters and I enjoyed reading about their evolving relationship. However, there was so much eeeeevil bad guy with killing after killing. “If” I had read your review, I would not have bought the book because I would know, for me, it would be way too much suspense and not nearly enough romance — which isn’t my cup of tea.

  6. Jane
    Jul 18, 2009 @ 09:01:48

    @JanetW – just because the explicit sensuality of the story is low doesn’t make it less romantic for me. There was a clear plot element involving the romantic relationship and character growth of both the hero and heroine.

  7. Janet W
    Jul 18, 2009 @ 09:51:50

    Like I said, the author did write about two appealing characters. For me though, the balance was off — I didn’t find it to be a very romantic book, even though, the author showed their evolving relationship.

    What I appreciated about your review was that you made it very clear how the elements of suspense/romance played out.

    I would probably read this author again but my expectations would be different.

  8. KeriM
    Jul 18, 2009 @ 15:53:54

    Thanks Collette for the heads up on the eprice. I went and bought it for that price. Actually got it for less that two bucks. I don’t buy too many ebooks because I don’t have a reader, but for this price I couldn’t resist. Sounds right up my alley Jane, thanks!

  9. RITA Open Thread | Dear Author: Romance Novel Reviews, Industry News, and Commentary
    Mar 26, 2010 @ 14:02:00

    […] read One Scream Away (review here). I liked it and thought it was a strong debut. I am surprised by the lack of Tessa […]

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