Author: Kellie Coates Gilbert
Series: Texas Gold #2
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewer: Jessica Higgins
A fast paced mystery dealing with disease, death, and bottled water. If that’s not enough, plenty of emotional trauma mixed with relationship healing.
Dr. Juliet Ryan is determined to make a name for herself in the food and beverage food safety industry. She went to some of the best schools and has now landed as the department head of quality control for Larimar Springs, a large bottled water outfit headquartered in San Antonio. She should feel accomplished, but she has a huge critic that is a food safety academic, her father. Her father believes that corporate corruption will always undermine food safety, but she believes she can prove him wrong. Several weeks after her arrival, there is an outbreak of e. coli in the San Antonio area that appears to have stemmed from the large amusement park, Water Circus. This is unfortunate for Larimar Springs as that is one of their biggest customers. This becomes worse when the strain is traced back to Larimar Springs. Feeling crushed and defeated by failure, Juliet feels something is not right. The further she digs the more corruption she finds. Before she becomes the scapegoat, she must enlist the help of her father, if she isn’t already too late.
Kellie Coates Gilbert really knows how to keep a reader moving through her novel. All of the characters were very well developed and were easy to visualize throughout the story. I was easily able to emphasize with the main character, Dr. Juliet Ryan, throughout all of the book. Her struggles with her father, current lover, and career are all very real issues in the world today. Even though some of the quality control jargon was technical, I found it interesting and it flowed very well.
I could tell that the author has frequented San Antonio a few times (as have I) due to her knowledge of the top eating establishments (Yea for Morton’s Steakhouse!) Her navigation of the Riverwalk area was also correct. It is always fun to take a trip in a book to a place that you have been a few times in person so that you can walk the streets in your mind easily.
There were some parts of the story that seem a little predictable, but I enjoyed the mystery. I also enjoyed the precarious situations that Juliet found herself in and how she was able to maneuver those situations. I really liked how the ending cleaned everything back up and brought some comfort to the supporting characters. If you are looking for a new author, try out Kellie Coates Gilbert.