Romantic suspense is fast becoming my favourite book genre. When the author gets the balance just right, the combination of unsettling mystery and indulgent romance work really well together. Publish Or Perish sits comfortably within this genre and is a great example of how well it can work.
***I was gifted a copy of Publish Or Perish in exchange for an honest review***
“IN THE CUTTHROAT WORLD OF BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH…
When computer whiz Emma O’Manny’s scientist husband dumps her on Valentine’s Day, vandalizing his office seems like a justifiable—if petty—response. But then Dan’s small plane crashes under mysterious circumstances, and Emma’s suddenly the prime suspect in a double homicide. Worse, Dan may have faked important vaccine safety research, to further his career—and the digital trail leads to Emma. Can she determine which data is correct, to prove her innocence? Or will Dan keep controlling her life, even from the grave?
…THE FIRST TO PUBLISH WINS…
Detective Vin Bronislovas came to Portland to rebuild his reputation, after nearly blowing a years-long investigation by believing the lies of a mobster’s daughter. A single misstep—like falling for another suspect—would destroy his career and ruin his life. But when the killer strikes again, and Emma and her children are threatened, Vin must choose between the Job and love. Can he trust his gut? Or will repeating his past mistakes allow a murderer to go free, and potentially put millions of children at risk from an unsafe vaccine?
…AND ANYONE CAN MAKE A KILLING. ANYONE. “
(Taken from Goodreads)
Publish Or Perish pulled me in pretty quickly, with both the mystery and the romance elements becoming apparent early on. Our main character, Emma, is in a difficult emotional state after finding out both that her husband was having an affair and that he’s died in a plane crash, which paves the way for some interesting internal conflict early on. Our other main character is Vin. He has recently had to up his life and move from Chicago after making quite a big mistake in his job, yet finds himself doing it all over again.
I loved both of the main characters from the get-go – they are well-developed with really interesting backgrounds. The minor characters are just as important though – something that I think can really make a good book stand out – and there are so many good sub-plots going on in from background, from Emma’s friend Karen trying to make sense of her love life to Vin’s Uncle Azi, who has Down’s Syndrome, trying to gain more independence in his life.
The mystery element is intriguing, and there are quite a few red herrings to keep it interesting. I figured out the culprit before the end of the book however still enjoyed perceiving the other characters as they tried to work out what on earth was going on. I still doubted myself on occasion! Although there were quite a few characters involved, it wasn’t difficult to follow each of their stories and it felt like just the right amount to add enough layering to the plot without overwhelming the reader.
What really got me though was the romance element – Blaisdell certainly knows how to write where this is concerned! There are frequent sex scenes which are graphic in nature (almost erotica), so not one for younger readers. The writing here was excellent – sex scenes are awkward if badly-written. Language is also very heavy, so bear that in mind if you’re not big on that. It all felt very natural and well-placed though, rather than just there for the sake of it.
The only thing I’d improve is that the ending felt slightly rushed. However, this didn’t really impact my feelings on the book in anyway and I did like it ended. I raced through the story, anyway – it’s fast-paced and if I wasn’t trying to get to the next part of the mystery element I was desperate to witness Emma and Vin as their relationship developed.
Definitely a recommendation from me here! This is my favourite romantic suspense read to date and I was really impressed with both the strong plot and character development. Very excited to read more romantic suspense from Blaisdell in future!
If you’d like to purchase your own copy of Publish Or Perish by Kerry Blaisdell then you can do so here:
“Kerry Blaisdell is the award-winning author of The Dead Series, including DEBRIEFING THE DEAD – 2019 Royal Palm Literary Award for Best Published Fantasy, InD’tale Magazine RONE Award for Best Long Paranormal, HOLT Medallion Literary Award for Best Paranormal & Best First Book, and Romance Writers of America RITA® Award finalist – and its sequel, WAKING THE DEAD, which InD’tale Magazine recommends for “fans of television shows like ‘Constantine’ or ‘Supernatural.’” She also writes award-winning Romantic Suspense and Historical Mystery.
She has a Bachelor of Arts from UC Berkeley in Comparative Literature (French/Medieval English), and a Master’s in Teaching English and Advanced Mathematics from the University of Portland. Kerry lives in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest with her family, assorted cats and dogs, and more hot pepper plants than anyone could reasonably consume.”
(Taken from Goodreads)
Have you ever read the romantic suspense genre before? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to like and pin! An Excuse For Murder by Vanessa Westermann is another great example of romantic suspense. You can read some of my other mystery, thriller, and crime reviews here: