Seeing Red

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Seeing Red

Ellis Greene is an elementary school teacher. She lives a quiet life, seldom going out after dark and desiring no drama in her life. When she was 13 years old, her beloved cousin was kidnapped, raped, beaten and eventually died after being in coma for 4 years. Ellis was the only eye witness to the crime and her testimony was a major factor in Hollis being sent to prison. Now, Hollis has been paroled and Ellis is scared that he’ll make good the promise he made in the courtroom, to make her pay. 
Nate Vance was Ellis’s cousin’s boyfriend at the time of her kidnapping. Ellis likes Nate and becomes friends with him even though her family is against her even seeing him, much less talking to him. Ellis’s uncle is positive that Nate is the one that did this to his daughter even though there is no evidence to that. Nate, wanting to give Ellis some protection, teaches her some self defense moves which now as an adult Ellis teaches young girls so that they will never be a victim like her cousin. Nate left town after the trail without ever saying good-bye to Ellis. In all that time, she’s never heard from him or about him. What Ellis doesn’t know is Nate has been keeping track of her and now that Hollis is free, Nate has returned to keep Ellis safe. What Nate doesn’t expect or want is for Ellis to even know he’s back in town!
Things get interesting when Ellis discovers Nate is back and she’s forced to trust this man she no longer knows. Someone is stalking Ellis, and she pretty sure that someone is Hollis. Then, another girl comes up dead and all the evidence points to Nate. Can Ellis truly trust Nate even as he refuses to talk about what he really does?
Seeing Red is a suspenseful novel about any family’s worse nightmare. Ms Crandall draws you into the drama unfolding for this family until you can’t put the book down. The emotional pull is such that you feel as if you are part of the town and you don’t know who you can trust. As the story progresses, more mysteries appear until you’re not sure who really is the bad guy, who is the good guy and how things are really going to come out.
The characters are extremely well written. Ellis and Nate come to life and while Nate has a bit of a mystery about him, they are likeable characters that you want to have a happy ending. One of the best characters though is Ellis’s Uncle Greg. Uncle Greg is the cousin’s father. From his frustration with the legal system to his deep love of his daughter is expressed so vividly that you can see him in his Corvette flying down the road.
Ms Crandall paints her locations so detailed that you can see the park where Ellis teaches girls self defense and you know her apartment complex. In fact, Belle Island become a real place in your mind where you know where you are going and who belongs and who doesn’t. That small town feel of things like that don’t happen here is expressed and the mother’s dawning fear that it does happen here is eye opening.
While I wouldn’t want to read this book on a stormy night with things that go bump in the night and strange shadows appear, I would recommend reading this book if you enjoy a great suspense story with a surprise twist and a love story. Another thrilling book by Ms Crandall! 

Book Blurb for Seeing Red

Ellis Greene remembers very little about the night of her cousin Laura's murder, but she does recall the face of the murderer. Ellis was the key witness to the crime, and her testimony helped put Hollis Alexander in jail for a long time. With Hollis behind bars, Ellis should feel safe, but the memory of that awful night still haunts her. Determined to free herself from the fear of being attacked like her cousin, Ellis has become an expert in self defense. However, when Ellis hears that Hollis has been paroled, she feels like a helpless teenager again--and she isn't the only one who notices that he's free.

Laura's boyfriend Nate was one of the prime suspects for her murder. After the court case, many still believed that Nate was guilty and he left town to reinvent himself. Now, fifteen years later, he has returned to protect Ellis from suffering the same fate as her cousin. As soon as Ellis and Nate see one another, sparks fly. But Ellis hasn't let herself fall for a man in a long time, and she isn't sure whether she can trust Nate. As Laura's murderer zeroes in on Ellis as his next target, she must fight to stay alive while she finally discovers her true feelings about Nate.

Night Owl Reviews Mar, 2009 5.00