Desolate Shores

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

Daryl Wood Gerber's book is aptly named An Aspen Adams Novel of Suspense.  'Desolate Shores' was non-stop tense from the very first page until the last.  Everyone had realistic issues, some more tragic than others.  The setting was haunting, the relationships were intriguing and the mystery was expertly crafted.  I just hope this is a first in a series!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.  The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
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Loved it! Shed a few tears throughout. Several surprises. Thrilled to see that this is book 1, as I look forward to more of Aspen Adams adventures. Enjoyed reading about the snow during the summer.
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If you are a fan of the cozy mystery series of Daryl Wood Gerber/Avery Aames, this is not a cozy, but a more gritty mystery story. The main character, Aspen Adams, left her therapy practice and returned to Lake Tahoe to work with her aunt as a process server. When she finds her best friend murdered, she realizes she has to help solve this crime. But then family problems intervene, and she finds herself the unexpected caretaker of her niece. Feeling like her life is spiraling out of control, Aspen continues to search for clues, but she may have just put herself in the path of a killer. This was an interesting mystery and a good start for a new series. The main character initially appeared to be a bit of a milksop, not really standing up for herself, like with her sister, or even in her friendship with Karen, detective for the Placer County Sheriff's Office. One other negative for me was in the beginning, the sentence structure was short and choppy and oftentimes overly detailed, such as "for the seventh time in an hour", or "turned on the radio for the twelfth time." But as the story progressed, the flow was better. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series, to see how this experience has changed Aspen for the better. Disclosure: I am voluntarily reviewing this book received from NetGalley and all opinions are strictly my own.
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I am a big fan of this author and her cozy mysteries, so I was thrilled to read a non cozy she had written. This is a fast paced suspense that I literally couldn't put down! I highly recommend this book.
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Desolate Shores is the first in a new series by Daryl Wood Gerber.  This was a good solid and suspenseful mystery.  Aspen Adams has started over in Lake Tahoe working for her Aunt Max as a process server when she finds the body of her best friend Vicki Carmichael.  Aspen is determined to work on the case to ensure they find the murderer.  Also her sister drops off her niece Candace for her to take care of and she uses her background as a psychologist to read people and find insights into the case.  She finds out many secrets about her friend and there are lots of twists and turns.  This is not a cozy (not that there is anything wrong with that haha), it is a mystery and holds your attention the entire way.  The author’s note is that this was a book she had written first and then put away.. hard to believe as it is so compelling.  Looking forward to how Aspen develops over the series and her relationship with Candace and the detective.
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Aspen left her job as a therapist and is living in Tahoe. Where she is working with her aunt Max at her PI office. Things are going okay until she stumbles upon the body of her best friend investigating her death she learns she didn't know her as well as she thought. Several suspects introduced. Suspenseful, mystery. Would definitely read.more if this becomes a series.
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Aspen Adams left behind a bad marriage and her career as a psychologist working with young people and moved to work for her Aunt in Tahoe.  Building a new life and making friends was helping her move forward.  

When she finds her best friend murdered, she’s willing to offer up her services and step back into her previous role as she works her first case a private investigator.  With a large list of potential suspects, sometimes the answer ends up having been right in front of you the whole time.  Now Aspen needs time on her side to solve the murder before she and her niece end up being the next victims.

I adore Daryl Wood Gerber’s writing and was thrilled to find that this was her first book ever.  She rewrote it and found that her voice had changed significantly over the years and what a voice she has!  The list of characters are relatable and you find yourself devouring the book and looking forward to your next visit to Tahoe with Aspen and thew gang.
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I had not read any books by this author and there are many out there. It turns out this book was the first, which was never published!! A great introduction for me.

This is a murder mystery with many possible suspects to choose from, but the answer was not the one you would have first expected. I enjoyed most of the characters in this book and will look forward to other books featuring Aspen Adams as she works to become an investigator. 

Thank you NetGalley for this early read.
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Great start of a new series! Interesting, quirky characters that are well-written. Great premise and very intriguing. I literally could not put it down! Great suspenseful read! I can’t wait for the second book!
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DESOLATE SHORES, the first book in the Aspen Adams Novel of Suspense, by Daryl Wood Gerber is a captivating, edge-of-your-seat read. In addition to a suspenseful story, the author has created a multi-faceted protagonist in Aspen Adams. Each turn of the page reveals deeper insight into her character and as the reader connects, the anticipation of what will happen next ramps up the emotional involvement. Aspen Adams, psychology therapist turned process server, works for her aunt in Lake Tahoe. When she discovers the murdered body of her best friend, she begs for the opportunity to turn private investigator to find the killer. In addition to a terrific story, Ms. Gerber provides memorable, well-developed characters to surround the protagonist. I especially loved Aspen’s interaction with her young teenaged niece and how she gets involved despite her self-doubts.

The expertly plotted mystery provides plenty of clues while the suspense is metered out judiciously. Digging into the past of her dead friend and using her former skills as a psychologist, Aspen unravels the secrets that surrounded the victim’s life. As she closes in on finding the truth, the suspense escalates until the heart-stopping reveal. I found I couldn’t put the book down for even a second until I read the very last page. I also appreciated that the author took the time to wrap up the threads of the subplots at the end, into one satisfying conclusion and I’ll be counting down the days until the next Aspen Adams novel is released!
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There are times I enjoy reading a book that's not a cozy mystery.
When I read the description for Desolate Shores and saw that it was by an author I enjoy, I knew I had to try it.
Aspen Adams is a private investigator in Lake Tahoe.
She reminds me of another character in one of my favorite series, so I was looking forward to becoming lost in this story.
Upon discovering the dead body of her best friend, Aspen sets out to find the answers, despite the craziness going on in her own personal life.
The story was exciting and well written, and I found myself becoming involved in the mystery surrounding the tragic death.
From casinos to ski trails, you will enjoy every minute of this suspenseful thriller.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for approving me to read this book.
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Desolate Shores is a fantastic thriller that I could not put down. This is a must read for the year. Great writing and characters.
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Desolate Shores is a real page turner. Once you start you can't put it down. The characters will intrigue and some will surprise you. Lots of twists that will make you wonder who to believe. Friendship and love play a big roll in this story. Some good surprises at the end that renew faith in humanity.
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Aspen Adams works as a process server for her aunt's detective agency in Lake Tahoe, but she longs to be a private investigator. She is given a chance to work on a case under her Aunt Max's supervision, but the opportunity is bittersweet. Aspen finds the dead body of her best friend Vikki Carmichael in the snow and Vikki's death is quickly determined to be a murder. While taking on the difficult task of investigating her close friend's murder, Aspen also has the responsibility of caring for her thirteen-year-old niece who drug-addict mother drops her off with Aspen out of the blue. Aspen will do what it takes to get justice for her friend as well as protect her niece, even if it puts her own life in danger.

I enjoy this author's Cookbook Nook cozy mystery series, and I have also read one of her prior standalone thrillers. I absolutely loved "Desolate Shores" and would give it 4.5 stars. The author's note at the beginning of the book says this was one of the first books she wrote but it was put aside and never published. She rewrote story and the revised version has now been published as the start of a new suspense series. I am so glad she did because this book is excellent and I look forward to reading more about Aspen. I like seeing her use her knowledge of people to investigate while she learns the basics of being a PI and will enjoy continuing this journey with Aspen.

For this case, Aspen learns her friend Vikki was keeping several secrets, which leads to several suspects in her murder. I guessed something was off about the characters who is eventually revealed to be the killer, but I still enjoyed the scene in which Aspen confronts the killer. The story has a few different twists and I was way off on the motive for the killing. In addition to the suspense of the investigation, there are definite sparks between Aspen and Detective Sergeant Nick Shaper. I also really liked the subplot dealing with Aspen's niece Candace. I can't way to see how both of these relationships progress in future books. 

I received this book from NetGalley through the courtesy of Beyond the Page Publishing. The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
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