Desolate Shores

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

A very good thriller, engrossing and entertaining. I appreciated the well crafted plot, the character development and the setting.
It was a good reading experience and I hope to be able to read other suspence by this author.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this arc, all opinions are mine
Was this review helpful?
I enjoy the cozy mysteries by this author and have not had the opportunity before now to read one of her suspense novels. I enjoyed how it was edgier than a cozy mystery, but it didn’t cross any lines for me. The book had a lot of action and dealt with some hard hitting issues. It was also written in a smart and sophisticated way that didn’t rely on language or graphic violence. It was a perfect dose of mystery and suspense for me and I look forward to reading more from this series!
Was this review helpful?
A different type of story for this author of cozy mysteries, Daryl Wood Gerber has given us a thriller set within a family owned investigative office.  The story line puts the main character in the position of investigating the murder of her friend while trying to protect her niece.  The back stories for each character make them a little more 3D, you'll get a better feel for them as the tension builds and the killer moves closer.  A good read that kept my interest.  A good change of pace with enough character that it could easily be turned into a series.
Was this review helpful?
Desolate shores is the first book in a new series by this author. It is very well written with good characters that draw you into their lives and problems. It is a smooth and interesting read with a well designed mystery I found that I had to keep reading to find out what would happen.! Aspen finds her friends body and tries to investigate her murder as she doesn't trust the police to get it right. she finds that her friend isn't the person she thought she was as secrets come to light.I will look forward to reading more of this series. Well worth reading.
Was this review helpful?
Private Investigator Aspen Adams finds the body of her best friend on the shore of Lake Tahoe. With resentment towards the police department, Aspen decides to investigate herself. But, what happens when she finds that her friend was hiding secrets?
Being a fan of this author, I was hoping to be enchanted by this novel. But, sadly it wasn’t for me. I just wasn’t interested in the main character, and I found the story a little depressing. I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and am voluntarily reviewing it.
Was this review helpful?
Therapist Aspen Adams has moved to the Lake Tahoe area after a devastating incident with one of her teenage clients.  Working with her aunt, who owns a detective agency, Aspen begins to make friends and adapt to her new profession.  However, her life is upended when she discovers the body of one of her friends.  Loving and happy Abby doesn’t seem to have any enemies, but Aspen soon discovers that her friend has been carefully hiding some secrets.  Unconvinced that the local police will be able to find Abby’s murderer, Aspen sets out to do the job herself.

Desolate Shores is a book that is supposed to be a departure from the cozy mysteries that Daryl Wood Gerber has produced in the past.  However, I found it to be very much like her other books.  There are a variety of characters, each with a story of their own.  

I found this a difficult book to keep track of and enjoy.  I prefer that backstories be introduced gradually, as the story progresses and as it applies.  In Desolate Shores each and every backstory is presented in detail and almost always as soon as the character is introduced.  For me, this disrupts the flow of the story.  in addition, the author randomly uses words that are unusual and, sometimes, aren’t really the most appropriate words for that particular sentence or description.  And, finally, there are multiple things going on.  It’s almost as though the author was afraid this would be the only book she would ever write, so she had to included literally everything all at once.  Everyone in the book has issues, secrets, and problems.  And they are all revealed in quite a bit of detail.  Aspen seems to be disengaged from the things that should matter the most, she imagines herself in a romantic situation with someone she just met, and she often behaves like a teenager.

I really wanted to like this book – it has a good premise - but there were just too many flaws and aggravations for that to happen.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing of copy of this book for review.
Was this review helpful?
Ms Gerber hit this one out of the park.  I enjoyed the entire plot, characters and intrigue. I didn't know the why until the reveal.

Not a cozy but a great change of pace by this author.  She is truly talented.

Looking forward to the next one.

I requested a copy via Netgalley and am not required to leave a positive review.  Thank-you all for a entertaining time.  The author did a superb job!
Was this review helpful?
I will review this on Amazon on Aug 13. 2019

I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review.

I believe that this was the first book by Daryl Wood Gerber that I have read, I found it to be a very interesting read. I believe this is the first book in a new series, so I will have to read more to find out how this storyline continues. I enjoyed the chemistry between Aspen and Sergeant Shaper so look forward to seeing where they go in the future. This storyline contained so many different issues, not the least her neices health issues. Overall I found the book to be very well written, the characters had some meat to them which means they held my interest. I would certainly recommend this book to others.
Was this review helpful?
Daryl Wood Gerber has done it again with Desolate Shores, her 3rd standalone thriller novel.  Aspen Adams, former psychologist and current PI, discovers her friend Vikki dead on the shores of Lake Tahoe, and embarks on an enlightening journey for justice, searching Vikki's past to discover who killed her in the present.  The story was absolutely riveting, Ms. Gerber has a true knack for suspense, and I devoured this book as quickly as I could turn the pages.  Desolate Shores has my highest recommendation for mystery lovers, and I'm giving it 5 stars and an A+!  :-)
Was this review helpful?
Very good story.  I really liked Aspen and how she tried to do right by everyone, especially her niece.  When Aspen finds her friend dead, she knows that she must find the murderer herself.  When her parents died, she didn't push the police to find the killer, so she wasn't going to let that happen again.  While she is investigating, she finds that her friend held a lot of secrets.  The more she finds out, the more she realizes that she never knew her friend.  During all of this, Aspen's sister dumps her daughter on Aspen's doorstep.  There is something going on with her niece and she needs to figure that out too.  All the while, someone is trying to kill them.  Are they just after Aspen or Aspen and her niece?
Was this review helpful?
This is a page turning mystery that held my interest and kept me guessing from the beginning to the end. Aspen Adams is on her morning run when she discovers her best friend's body on the shore of Lake Tahoe. Upset and determined to find the killer, she uses her instinct and resources working at her her aunt's investigation agency to check out all of the possible suspects and clues that she uncovers. Handsome and interesting Detective Sergeant Shaper is always around as she works-sometimes frustrated with her meddling but yet admiring of her abilities. She is on the right track because her vehicle is messed with twice and she is the target of a shooter. Added to her responsibilities, her irresponsible sister left her young daughter Candace in her care and she has issues that are disturbing. This is a well written mystery that had me thinking the killer is first one person, then another. Ending in a way that I didn't see coming, this is a great mystery and I am excited that this is the first in a new series. 
I received a complimentary ARC from Beyond The Page Publishing through NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine only.
Was this review helpful?
Aspen Adams has started her life over and is working as a P.I. for Aunt in Tahoe, she needed to make a change and so far things are looking up.  While enjoying her morning job she comes across a body, the sad part is it turns out to be her best friend.  Who would want to murder such a bright and sunny young woman and why?  Aspen couldn't think of any enemies that her friend might have had and she is truly puzzled as to why someone would have hurt her much less kill her.  Aspen doesn't have any faith in the police, they botched her own parents investigation, so why trust them when it comes to her friend.  She decides that she is going to put her job to good use and figure out who killed her friend on her own.  Aspen soon learns that her friend held many secrets and maybe she wasn't at all the person that she knew and loved. As more and more comes to light Aspen knows that she will have to put the pieces together to figure out who the killer is.  Meanwhile her good for nothing sister has dropped off her niece, leaving Aspen alone with a young girl that she doesn't really know.  Aspen soon starts seeing little things going on with her niece that makes her worry that she is hiding a secret herself.  She wants so badly to bring justice to her friend but with this new obstacle in her way she doesn't know if she will be able to.  She loves her niece and wants to do what's best for her but isn't quite sure what that is.  Follow Aspen as she questions all the people in her friends life hoping that with all the information she is given she will be able to find a killer.  Can she deal with the problems her niece is starting to present?  Can she trust the cops and what they are telling her?  This was a great read that had me looking at everyone as a suspect, it truly had me guessing all the way until the end!!!
Was this review helpful?
This book was very well written. Nice and easy to read and flowed well. Had me on the edge of my seat. Wondering which way it was going to go. Great mystery can’t beat it.
Was this review helpful?
My usual genre is cozy mysteries, and this was a nice change of pace! More suspense, a darker feel, and heavier themes made this book hard to put down! I liked main character Aspen, who, along with most of the other characters in the book, has some baggage she carries with her every day. When she finds her best friend murdered on the beach and her drug-addicted sister leaves her niece at her house for the week, Aspen suddenly has a lot more to deal with than she was ready for. The story moved at the perfect pace, and there seemed to be no shortage of suspects and dubious alibis to keep me guessing. While I enjoy Daryl Wood Gerber's Cookbook Nook Mysteries, I think I might like this series even more! Hoping for many more in this series.

I received an advance copy of this book. The thoughts and opinions in this review are my own.
Was this review helpful?
This is one of the books (for me) that was a way of occupying time when I didn't have anything I liked better.  It kept me interested enough to finish, but isn't really my usual read.  The first in a series, but not one I'll follow.
Was this review helpful?
Desolate Shores 
(An Aspen Adams Novel of Suspense Book 1)
by Daryl Wood Gerber

Kindle Edition, 239 pages
Expected publication: August 13th 2019 by Beyond the Page





Goodreads synopsis:
Daryl Wood Gerber, the national bestselling and Agatha Award–winning author of the Cookbook Nook Mysteries, returns with a novel of gripping suspense . . . 

A chilling murder, an elusive killer, and a family mystery that hits too close to home . . . 

After finding the body of her best friend on the icy shores of Lake Tahoe, Aspen Adams refuses to stand by and watch as the local sheriff’s department begins their search for the killer. Launching her own investigation, she’s soon confronted with a growing array of secrets—both about the friend she thought she knew and about many of the people in her own life. As fragmentary clues and escalating dangers threaten to derail her, she must also cope with the disturbing behavior of her deadbeat sister and troubled teenage niece. 

Determined to overcome her personal demons over past failures, Aspen is driven to unravel the conflicting evidence and a shifting range of suspects to bring the killer to justice, even as a family trauma unfolds that threatens to upend her life. And as her investigation inexorably leads her to a shocking discovery and taunts her with a solution that is just out of reach, Aspen realizes that the killer wants nothing more than to see her and her niece dead . . . 


***

4.5 Stars

This is the first book in a new suspense series by Daryl Wood Gerber featuring Aspen Adams.

Aspen Adams finds the dead body of her good friend, Vickie and spies a design the deceased has written in the snow. Unfortunately, she only gets a glimpse of the design before she loses her balance and destroys the delicate impression. She begins her own search for the killer since her own parent’s deaths weren’t investigated to her own satisfaction. Aspen doesn’t trust the police to do a good enough job to satisfy her. 

Her niece Candace is staying with her which makes things more complex as the killer is revealed at the end and brings the niece into the equation to lure Aspen in a trap. The story thread about Aspen wanting to gain custody of Candice from her druggie sister was quite compelling.

Detective Nick Shaper seemed to like Aspen from the minute he met her but knew that he couldn’t get involved with a suspect until after the case had concluded. This left us the readers wanting more and the characters conflicted about a possible romance. I think the author liked teasing me with a possible relationship here.

Aspen latched onto Karen, one of Nick Shaper’s colleagues, from the get go. She was a possible friend but her continual drinking left her unavailable much of the time and not as trustworthy when push came to shove.

I thought all the characters were well crafted and really peaked my interest.This is a new series in a totally different genre for Gerber and I think she hit it out of the park with this one.  I look forward to more books in this series. 

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.
Was this review helpful?
This one was showing its age from the beginning (a book that the author wrote early in her career), and I didn't find the characters sufficiently interesting to continuing reading after the first few pages.
Was this review helpful?
This is a good mystery that has a thick plot that manages to navigate the she shifting prospectives . 
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for letting me review this book
Was this review helpful?
The author wrote this book some time ago and was unable to find a publisher. Apparently there was a sticking point and Gerber would not let go of the story. Her tenacity won out and “Desolate Shores” is now seeing the light of day. The rewritten story has pith, determination and the makings of a good book.

Murder, mystery, sleuthing, psychology, sibling discord and a child who is abandoned on the whim of her drug addicted mother - definitely the makings of a good book, solid and satisfying. So Aspen Adams, sometimes psychologist, other times process server, and occasionally a detective has been brought to life and I wonder where she will take the reader next. Hopefully Ms. Gerber has her next “Novel of Suspense Book” near completion. From the other reviews I have read there are a whole lot of people looking forward to the next installment.

Thank you NetGalley and Beyond the Page Publishing for a copy.
Was this review helpful?
This is a stand alone. Aspen finds her friend in the snow while running.  She decides to investigate to see who murdered her friend. Her niece then comes to stay with her for a week then it because more. Detective Sharper let's her help in the investigation. You will need to read to find out who killed her
Was this review helpful?