Author: Lisa Harris
Series: Southern Crimes #2
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Jessica Higgins
The follow up to Dangerous Passage doesn’t disappoint as it proves to be even better than the first in the series.
The second book in the Southern Crimes series by Lisa Harris thrust us into the life of Avery Hunt’s sister Emily and Mason Taylor, who Avery believes is responsible for the death of their brother. Emily is a teacher at a local private school where Tess, Avery’s daughter attends. When Mason gets a panicked call from Rafael, a young boy he has been mentoring and who also goes to Emily’s school, he goes to Emily for help. Rafael’s brother has been kidnapped by a drug cartel and is demanding a lot of money for his release. Rafael has tried as hard as he can to keep himself and his family out of that kind of life and is having a hard time believing his brother could be involved in something like this. It has to be a case of mistaken identity. When Mason doesn’t hear from Rafael again he knows he needs help. Even though most of the Hunt family doesn’t want to have anything to do with him anymore, Mason still takes a chance and goes to Emily for help. She promises to get in touch with him if she hears from Rafael. Mason leaves to see if he can find any new leads and Emily prepares to start the school day. As she heads to her room her niece, Tess, comes to get a book from her before heading to her own classes. Before Tess has a chance to leave the room Rafael walks in with a gun locking the door behind him. He demands money be sent to an account so he can free his brother. With nothing as it seems and lives in danger, Emily has to do everything she can to stay calm and work a way through the situation, even though she has no idea how to do that.
I went into Fatal Exchange a little hesitant. I enjoyed the first book but it didn’t leave me dying for more. With that said, I am very happy I picked this one up and flew through. The story was different from the first in so many ways. I didn’t feel as if I was more consumed with a love story than a suspense story. This one had me on the edge of my seat turning the page as fast as possible. The characters were very believable and easily relatable. I enjoyed Emily and the way she handled the situations she was thrust into. She was a strong female character that wasn’t what you would have expected. Avery being a cop is expected to be strong, Emily has never felt as strong as the rest of her family, but shows she has more strength than even she imagined. The pairing of her and Mason was nice. It was easy to tell where that relationship was going but not in a troubling way. The pace was well set and didn’t slow until the last few chapters. About mid-way through I thought things weren’t looking good for the pace since it seemed as if one of the major plot points was about to be resolved, but things went in a whole new direction that kept the story moving.
I was very impressed with the way Lisa Harris brought this story about and kept me glued to the edge of my seat. I would recommend this one to anyone that loves a good edge of the seat thriller.