Review: At the River by Kendra Elliot

Posted February 8, 2024 by Sophia Rose in Rating A, Reviews, Romantic Suspense Tags: , , , ,

book cover of At the River by Kendra ElliotAt the River
Kendra Elliot
Sophia Rose
Rating: A+

What I’m Talking About:

Each venture into Kendra Elliot’s books leaves me well and truly satisfied.  We plunge into a dark murder and secrets with plenty of seemingly stray events, witnesses, and evidence only to have my big gasp of appreciation for how it all ties together like a well-crafted puzzle.

At the River is the fifth of the Columbia River series and features mostly characters from the Mercy Kilpatrick world placing it eighth in that series.  The Columbia River series tends to weave in and out of several of the author’s series set in that region with engaging follow ups with characters who were side characters in previous series.  In this case, fans of Mercy and the gang are given a treat to see Mercy working cases with both Truman and familiar sheriff’s deputy detective, Noelle Marshall who appeared in the previous book.  The series is set in the rural regions of central Oregon and bring that area vividly to life from the mountain and forests to the interesting populations of small towns and out in the wilder areas.

I enjoyed this book that takes place just before Mercy and Truman’s first year anniversary. Truman is given expert advice not to downplay the anniversary even if that is what he and Mercy agreed on and he is also contemplating how and when to speak to Ollie about his desire to adopt him as his son even though Ollie is on the eve of his twentieth birthday.  Truman and Ollie have been working on filling in the blanks about Ollie’s past regarding his parents since Ollie was little when sent to live with his grandparents deep in the woods where they died without telling him much.

Meanwhile, Mercy is pursuing a new brand of domestic terrorists who like to shoot up energy sub-stations so whole communities are without power-and the miscreants hope will cause them to grow dissatisfied with organized government. But, she is interrupted to come with the local sheriff to the riverbank where a body is found-a body who not only matches the description of a missing man from her home county that Truman and Ollie came across the case, but the man-a true crimes podcaster-is arranged in the same way a previous unsolved case involving five teens from twenty years before-one teen was found dead in that pose, one was found nearly dead in the same pose, and the other three remain missing to this day.

I loved following along as Mercy and Noelle worked the case. The police investigative procedural side is well written and fascinating, but is woven well right into the story so it doesn’t miss a beat. Truman helps where he is needed and Ollie gets a large role in this one as he befriends a man connected to the case and in danger from people who don’t want that old case or this new one to be solved.

I can’t start one of these books without being compelled to read on and never want to stop, and At the River was no exception. When I hit a certain point and the reveals started coming and the action tightened up, I couldn’t stop until the satisfying stunning ending.

Another triumph and I was left sad it was over and hoping deep down that more will come from the Mercy Kilpatrick world-I love it so much. Those who enjoy romantic suspense that balances good character and relationship development with strong police procedural murder mystery should jump in with any of the author’s series (ahem, I suggest the Mercy Kilpatrick) and then enjoy the Columbia River books.

My Rating: A+ Personal Favorite
Sophia Rose

About the Book:

The mystery of three missing teens and a traumatizing murder unearths decades of buried secrets in a shocking novel of suspense by a Wall Street Journal and Amazon Charts bestselling author.

Twenty years ago, five teenage campers disappeared. Two eventually turned up, bound and left for dead on the Columbia River’s rocky shore. Only Devin Bonner miraculously survived, but with no memories of what happened in the Oregon forest.

After decades, the cold case generates heat for FBI Special Agent Mercy Kilpatrick and her husband, Police Chief Truman Daly. They’re investigating the murder of a true-crime podcaster found at the river’s edge in the same location, and with the exact same manner of death. With the discovery, Devin’s nightmares return. His only real friend is Ollie Smith, Truman’s orphaned ward, whose own search for the truth sucks Ollie into a mystery far greater and more dangerous than anyone imagined.

Following a trail of fresh blood and an escalating series of murders, Mercy and Truman must work fast to unlock whatever traumas are buried in Devin’s memories before the secrets of the past claim another victim.

Release Date: February 13, 2024
Columbia River #5, Mercy Kilpatrick #8
Romantic Suspense
hardcover (368 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: NetGalley

Purchase Info:
Amazon (affiliate link)