THE LETTERS SHE LEFT BEHIND by CL Walters begins with an intriguing premise, as a bereaved husband discovers letters addressed to him from his wife Megan, among the personal journals she’s left behind; letters offering clues towards solving a mysterious story they had been puzzling over before she died and that possibly involved school athletes…and murder. Perhaps less intriguing to some readers may be the underlying love triangle this initial premise is based on.
Adam Kane is a man who was in love with his wife. But he was also in love with Megan’s best friend, Alex, since the night in college many years ago when he brashly seduced her into hooking up with him. Now Megan is gone…and Alex may be the only person Adam can trust to help him figure out what Megan was working on before death claimed her. Pulsating with unfulfilled passion, regrets and misplaced anger, THE LETTERS SHE LEFT BEHIND careens along, weaving a criminal conspiracy plot with scenes of Adam’s and Alex’s smoldering push-pull attraction. Since both Adam and Megan had full-fledged careers with work associates and joint friends, along with having a family that by now includes grown children, it’s rather contrived for the wife’s best friend whom he’s had a long-standing thing for to be the only person this newly widowed husband feels he can turn to, and the romance portion of the book can feel weighed down by various less-than-believable conveniences, as well as by an over-reliance upon expository description explaining what everyone is feeling in any given moment. Still, it’s nice to see the idea of second chances in love being explored via characters who are not still in the blush of youth, along with posthumously looking at elements that had been weakening Megan’s and Adam’s union before she died (the Hawaii setting, Hawaiian protagonist, and Hawaiian monstera leaf illustrations between chapters are also a nice touch).
Though a bit too predictable in storyline and somewhat weak in character development, there are nevertheless enough original moments in CL Walters’ THE LETTERS SHE LEFT BEHIND to keep readers who enjoy a blend of romance and crime genres turning the pages.
~C.S. Holmes for IndieReader