Review: Rachel Grant's Evidence Series ROCKS!
Finding an author who writes stories that strongly resonate with a personal passion is like birthday and Christmas surprises combined. That’s one reason I love preparing the weekly Feeding Your eReader Friday posts, as I’ll search out books that are either free or almost free to recommend to you. In order to do that, I read the titles (yes, I do), before recommending them to you.
This past week, when I was looking for titles to include I found the first book in the romantic suspense series, Evidence, by Rachel Grant. The description of Concrete Evidence totally intrigued me as it featured an underwater archaeologist (yes, one of my passions). So, along with Elisabeth Naughton’s glowing endorsement, I knew couldn’t go very wrong. (Plus, it was and is FREE!)
Little did I anticipate becoming so caught up in the story, that not only did I read Concrete Evidence, but also Body of Evidence (book 2) (available for $0.99 in the six-book bundle, Crimes of Passion: 6 Romantic Suspense Books), and Withholding Evidence (book 3).
Yes, I purchased and read the entire series and the only complaint I’ll voice is that there isn’t a book four yet. Rachel Grant recently posted photos to her Facebook page from a research trip to Alaska for her next Evidence title. I can’t wait! Just like caffeine in the morning, I need my Rachel Grant fix! NOW!
Grant is an author who knows the worlds she’s writing about intimately (she’s an archaeologist and her husband is an underwater archaeologist). She uses that authentic background to create powerful and compelling protagonists and engrossing stories. But don’t worry, it’s not all geeky facts (though geek girls will love these books). Each book is a suspenseful page turner that I already want to read again!
Concrete Evidence, the first book in Rachel Grant’s Evidence series, begins with a tragic scene from the 1950s. Soon, I was so wrapped up in former underwater archaeologist Erica Kesling’s story that the earlier scene slipped from my mind (but not too far, as it’s quite important to the story).
Erica’s been blackballed from her graduate program, can no longer work as an underwater archaeologist or for anyone in her industry on the West Coast. On the edge of bankruptcy, she is working as a consulting archaeologist for a private D.C.-based company that does quite a bit of contracting work for the government.
The reason behind her career slide is integral to the story as in order to clear $100,000 of debts her mother incurred in her name, she took a job with a salvager the prior summer. Crossing the line from straight academic archaeology to working for someone who’s a treasure hunter is a huge no no in her field. Let alone finding out that her boss is stealing priceless Aztec objects that were supposed to be left in situ until the Mexican authorities were alerted to the find.
Erica now lives under the threat of blackmail from the salvager and is hoping to find what he did with these priceless objects as one of her company’s clients may be involved. However, she’s not the only one who’s searching out a thief and contraband. Unexpectedly, she's saddled with intern Lee Scott, who seems a bit old to still be in college, but acts the slacker as the ultimate Tetris warrior. But in actuality he’s there undercover to find out who’s smuggling illegal Iraqi antiquities - the same antiquities that were to be traded for the Aztec ones that Erica had discovered.
Neither of Erica nor Lee trusts the other with the truth of what they’re in search of. But in rooting out the history of a house that was built for a military base, now on a Native American reservation, both of their searches collide. The way Grant combines the historical search for the special concrete that was used to build the house with the search for the objects, along with the many threats Erica and Lee face is riveting. I really was swept up in the search they did in the National Archives, following the paper trail, yep, geek girl heaven!
I don’t want to go into too much more detail, as the story is much better as told by Grant, but be prepared for a very intelligent and suspenseful thriller that has political and international elements - as well as plenty of romance.