Title: Open Case (Open: Book Three)
Author: Mickie B. Ashling
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 200 Pages
At a Glance: Fans of the previous two books have much to enjoy in Open Case, as many storylines that seem to have been left unfinished from the previous books get wrapped up nicely in this third installment.
Reviewed By: Taz
Blurb: Seth Wilder and Bryce McFarland deal with the aftermath of Owen Lightfoot’s destructive rampage. Once again, the insurance company denies the life insurance benefit despite the compelling evidence regarding the underlying cause of Mark’s death. However, they acknowledge their former employee’s complicity in the multiple crimes that have blindsided Seth and Bryce. They settle to keep their name out of the news, offering the couple a million dollars apiece, which they accept.
Owen learns of the big payoff and is determined to get his cut. Just when Bryce and Seth think it is all over, Owen reappears, and what follows tests the very limits of their endurance. Through the help of friends and relatives, Seth and Bryce find the strength to keep their relationship intact while seeking out the best way to stop Owen once and for all.
Review: Open Case is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Ashling. Since it’s book three in a series, my first question while reading was whether it held up as a standalone, and it did, with plenty of references to previous experiences to let the reader know there’s history, but not so much that the previous book is a prerequisite to understanding this one.
The book follows the recipe for a good old fashion action adventure story, with two good guys who are trying to move forward with their lives, and one villain who’s hellbent on trying to sabotage everything for his own personal gain. On that front, my favorite character, in terms of entertainment purposes, was the villain, Owen. He was so insidious and vile that I couldn’t help but drink up his words. I’ve been told that writing extreme characters is the most fun, and it felt like the author enjoyed portraying this hateful character.
In terms of pacing, the story dragged at points. While the overall storyline was a good one, there were several scenes that didn’t really seem to serve any particular purpose other than to have the characters interacting. The character building, as such, was enjoyable, but there were scenes that pulled me out of the immediacy of the action.
That said, fans of the previous two books have much to enjoy in Open Case, I would assume, as many storylines that seem to have been left unfinished from the previous books get wrapped up nicely in this third installment.
All in all, a pleasant read.
You can buy Open Case here: