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Spiraled (Callahan & McLane) - Kendra Elliot

I received a copy of the book from Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this book. I have not read the first two books in the series, but this book is written in a way that can still be read as a stand alone (although I liked it enough to want to seek out the other books as well).

This book is engaging and suspenseful. While I pretty much had the main mystery figured out by the end of the third chapter, it was still a good book and I enjoyed picking up more details to test my theory against. Even once I had everything figured out, the text was still intriguing enough to keep me reading. There were enough twists and turns to keep me interested.

The main character, Ava, is well developed as the reader follows her struggles with the shooting itself as well as family and relationship issues. At times, I wanted the text to focus on the case so I could learn more, but the side plots were still interesting.

One of this things I didn't like was that I wanted Ava to have a more active role. She isn't actually on the case and just acts as a witness, occasionally helping to figure something out for the team. I really wanted her to be more involved and contribute more, but understand why she was not officially on the case for obvious reasons.

Having not read the first two books, I am not sure of all the details, but from the summaries and reviews I have read, it seems Elliot really focuses the plots around bad things happening to Ava. While Ava is able to pull her own weight, I want more out of a book than people targeting female characters. For the first half of this book, I think Elliot does a good job of creating a well constructed plot, but the second half kind of "spiraled" into the same theme of a strong woman encountering danger and violence.

Overall, this is a very good book with one sex scene and minimal graphic violence considering the topic material. I enjoyed the negative message regarding media attention following mass shootings and the importance of not glorifying such examples of public violence.