Review Time: Seagrass Pier by Colleen Coble

Seagrass Pier (Hope Beach #3)

In a secluded corner of Hope Beach, one woman must decipher a stranger’s memories . . . before they cost her everything.

A heart transplant recipient remembers the donor's last moments in this suspense by Colleen Coble.
A heart transplant recipient remembers the donor’s last moments in this suspense by Colleen Coble.

Elin Summerall was one of the lucky ones. Not only did she get a heart transplant, but the donor was a perfect fit. A miraculously perfect fit.

But when Elin begins having violent flashbacks–and vivid dreams of being strangled–she realizes that she has been the recipient of more than just a new heart . . . Elin is remembering her donor’s murder.

Her strange affliction has attracted some unwanted attention: from the press, from the authorities . . . and from the killer himself. Now, living alone with her young daughter and aging mother, Elin is being stalked–by a man she’s only met in her nightmares.

The police are dubious of her story, but one off-duty FBI agent agrees to help her: Agent Marc Everton.

Now, in a remote cottage on Hope Island, Elin and Marc must probe the secrets buried in her borrowed heart. And there’s no time to waste. One man is desperate to silence her–before she remembers too much.

My Review:

This is the first time I have read a Colleen Coble book.  I was aware Ms. Coble was a Christian author, but didn’t know what to expect from her books.  She writes romantic suspense, and I will admit she effectively spooked me with the stalking situation in the book.  Elin is the main character.  She is a widow caring for her 4-year old child, Josie, and her aging mother, Abby, who has Alzheimer’s disease.  Elin has recently had a successful heart transplant; the heart donor, Laura, a woman who was murdered.  Elin begins experiencing bad dreams and realizes that the dreams are memories of the donor’s last moments with the killer.  As the memories become clearer and more frequent, Elin wonders if she is losing her identity and becoming more like the murdered woman. 

Enter Marc, with is dark hair, hazel eyes, and good looks.  I had difficulty figuring out Marc’s situation.  He is an FBI agent taking leave so he can research his partner’s death.  At first I thought Elin’s heart donor, Laura, was Marc’s partner, but later found that his partner was Will, the agent assigned to Laura’s homicide investigation.  I have to admit I’m still not clear on Marc’s background story.  I finally had to let those thoughts go and dig into the main story line. 

Marc agrees to help Elin resolve the murder of her heart donor because he believes the same person may have killed his partner.  Elin has a secret and when Marc discovers the secret he is hurt, yet realizes he has more reason to protect Elin and her family than expected.  As the story twists and turns and Elin’s stalker becomes more brazen and directing his threats toward Marc as well as Elin, it’s up to the two of them to work together to resolve the mystery and capture the stalker/murderer before they become his next victims!

Closing thoughts:   Good story, but not great. I like the setting of Virginia Beach, VA to Kitty Hawk, NC.  I knew who the stalker/murderer was early in the book.  I simply didn’t know how or why of his motives.   I found myself wondering about Georgiana’s diary and the map that was hidden by Abby.  This minor storyline wasn’t closed to my satisfaction; after all the fuss about the diary and map I was expecting Abby to reveal the map’s location and everything to be turned over to a museum or archeologist or something of that nature.  Otherwise the story was a clean read (no explicit sex, no profanity), with the exception of some scary situations which is expected in a “suspense” novel.