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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 10 November 2013
I've read all Karen Rose's previous novels and am sure that I would have completely floundered with this one if I hadn't had some background. As it is some considerable time since I have read any of them I still got a bit lost in the backstory about Stevie's ex-partner and what had happened when Stevie was injured and Clay saved her life. The author did fill you in about this but she was also filling you in about events which happened eight years ago so there were times when there was so much information thrown at you about what had happened in the past that the book actually dragged a bit. The other issue was with the myriad of characters. I liked the fact that the author realises how many people are needed to investigate something like this but all the characters reappear from previous novels (with the exception of Emma who I liked a lot) and to be truthful, I'd forgotten who some of them were and what their story was and how they connected to Stevie and Clay. I am sure that if I'd recently reread her previous few novels I would have enjoyed this book a lot more (and I intend to do so and then reread this book) but I am convinced that a new reader should not start here.

I liked the characters of Stevie and Clay a lot. I was pleased that Stevie's injury really affected what she could do and was treated seriously. I liked the fact that we saw the story from various points of view including the bad guys but also Sam and Ruby's story - I would have liked to spend more time with this couple and their investigation. The author played some games with the reader when describing the killers - I had spotted it because I have seen other authors do the same, but it was clever.

I thought that the book dragged a bit, not just because of the amount of backstory which you needed to be fed but also because a lot of the story was repetitive - the bad guys planned something, the event happened and then the good guys had to work out what had happened and the baddies reflected on it. I thought that the book could have been stripped of a few characters and a lot of plot and have benefitted from it. I also had some doubts about how cosy all the characters, from various law enforcement and security agencies, were about sharing information and taking civilians to crime scenes - I was not sure how realistic it was.

If you've read Karen Rose's previous novels (especially recently) then you will enjoy this book, although you might wish for it to be shorter and sharper. If you aren't already a fan then I do encourage you to read some of her earlier output, most of which stands alone better than this does.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 9 November 2013
Karen Rose has written another elaborate brick of a thriller at 592 pages long. The patient development of characters and plot are a necessary foundation that leads to a climactic finale. Most of the action is packed into a frenetic 48 hour period. This story focuses on Detective Stevie Mazzetti and Private Investigator Clayton (Clay) Maynard, involving their personal and professional quests. Stevie's husband, attorney Paul, and son Paulie were murdered eight years ago. She has a daughter, Cordelia, aged 7. Her ex-partner Silas Dundridge was a dirty cop mixed up with Lippman, a bent lawyer. Stevie is looking into old cases they were involved in. She is on the verge of exposing a ruthless, powerful public figure and businessman, Todd Robinette (Robbie). He is in control of a handful of trusted and loyal associates. He has reasons to eliminate Stevie. She narrowly survives several attempts on her life. Innocent bystanders are killed. Clay has recently saved Stevie's life and although they have a longstanding mutual attraction they are wary of any commitment. As they become closer, much is revealed of their past lives and relationships that explain this reluctance. As the threats on Stevie and Cordelia become more intense, Clay takes drastic action to protect them including using his step-father's extraordinary stronghold on the coast as a safe house.

Karen Rose has constructed an intricate web of action-packed intrigue. Several plot lines run throughout that are pulled together to complete a dramatic and enthralling story. Characters from previous novels by the author are involved but this can be read as a stand alone book. The characters are well-developed with the relationship between the two protagonists particularly intense and passionate! Emma, Stevie's psychologist and friend, is prominent as are Clay's team and the FBI agents who have a mole amongst them. Cordelia is an absolute joy and totally engaging. Robbie and his associates are loathsome, greedy individuals who ensure the pace of the narrative never drops as the body count rises and the battle of wits and conspiracy become more intensive and hazardous. This is a complex novel involving a host of strong and pertinent characters written with an ease by the author that seems effortless as the intricate factions are gradually unravelled. A couple of unexpected twists add to the suspense and excitement of a thoroughly enjoyable, well-written book.
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on 15 November 2013
I have read all of KR books but the last couple of them haven't impressed me too much. This book is more like her earlier ones. I really liked it. I do agree with the other reader that there are far too many characters in this book. There are four bad guys at least and don't even get me started on the good guys and their children and their parents and their pets well you get the picture. If you can sift through all the details that are repeated over and over again you actually get a really good plot. And that's why I liked it. Also I'm so glad clay got his happy ever after. I wonder who the next book will be about?????
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on 12 December 2013
This was a good read but I spent a lot of time trying to remember the characters from her other novels. You are better off trying to ignore the peripheral characters as if they hadnt already appeared in her books.
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on 2 November 2014
Existing fans of Karen Rose will know what to expect from her novels – fast-paced action, action-packed days and nights, characters you can empathise with, bullets galore, with a liberal dash of romance.

New fans might be a little confused by the cast of characters who have all appeared in previous Rose novels. My advice, go back to the start and work through them….

Here, Mazzetti and Maynard, who have appeared previously, get their time on stage. She’s still not able to fully let go of the grief surrounding the murders of her husband and son eight years ago. Maynard’s wondering how he can be around her, especially as she rejected him at the end of a previous novel.

Now, Mazzetti is in the eye of the storm with any number of reasons for people to kill her, and all too willing to try, killing innocent people in the process. Todd Robinetti, in particular, has Mazzetti in his crosshairs, not least because she’s the only one who suspects he killed his wife. With a new wife and a possible new career on the way, Robinetti needs to silence Mazzetti so that he can pursue new avenues. On top of that, he has a very lucrative sideline going which is going to make him mega-rich.

And, so the stage is set for a showdown – bullets are flying, Kevlar jackets are being shredded, all the friends from previous novels are helping out, Maynard is ever present, Mazzetti’s daughter is terrified, and Mazzetti is confused.

The novel is a nice take on grief, on the difficulties of moving on, of loving and when and whether to let go, on the blind spots of parenting. Add in murder and mayhem and you’re good to go.

As ever, a great read, fast paced, solid characters, probably a romance too many (Officer Hudson and Ruby), but a good companion over a few winter evenings…!
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on 11 February 2014
i've read alot of karen rose and i was expecting another really good book.unfortunately this one lacked something...the story was ok but nothing gripping like alot of her previous ones and it had the usual romantic story running through it.
sadly just average reading this time
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on 2 April 2014
I've read quite a few karen Rose books and wasn't disappointed with this one. but, you might get a bit lost on the characters if you haven't read either 'No one left to tell' or 'You belong to me'.

I read this book in record time and really loved the crime, thriller and love stories that ran through it.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 26 January 2014
Detective Stevie Mazzetti finds herself and her daughter in great danger when it transpires that someone from her past has a score to settle. It appears a psychopath is after her and Clay Maynard an old friend and ex Marine puts himself in charge of protecting Stevie, a woman he has loved for many years.
A good storyline but the author's previous books need to be read and remembered, although Karen Rose does backtrack and remind the reader of the history of the characters it can still be a little confusing.
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on 7 December 2013
I always enjoy Karen Rose's books and this was no exception. There's always twists and turns and I am forever trying to figure out who the main 'big bad' will be. In 'Watch Your Back' this was different as you got to see who the villain was straight away and then got to see how he wormed his way into each situation and attempt on Stevie Mazzetti's life. However, you didn't see the full extent of his connection to Stevie until later in the book.

Stevie has managed to survive so many life threatening situations that she starts to resemble a cat having nine lives!! Her romantic interest in this book is Clay Maynard who had appeared in previous novels but as a supporting character. This is something that I love about her books - they all interconnect in some way. In this one we see Grayson, Paige, Daphne, Joseph, Alec, Ethan and more. For me it means I spend less time getting to know the characters as I've already read about them in the past and I know their history even though each book is a stand alone one.

I had a couple of issues with this book - one is the same one I always have regarding the sex scenes which are far too graphic for my liking however I do skip them so I try not to let them spoil what is always a great story. The other issue, which was probably deliberate, was the confusion surrounding the sex of some of Robinette's employees. They were only referred to by their last names and never him/her so you're always wondering until towards the end when they start to mention whether they're men or women.

Despite these issues it was an engaging story and flowed quickly. Another great book from Karen Rose
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on 9 July 2015
I really enjoyed this book not only because of the familiar caste of characters but also the batty murderers who just killed at a drop of a hat. Very cartoonish. I kept thinking I had dropped into a Bruce Willis opus! How the Clay character functioned with his permanent State of arousal, beggars belief. I wouldn't want him guarding me, his mind certainly wasn't on the job in hand! Or was it.
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