Having spent an inspiring day at the Arizona MysteryCon yesterday, I’m ready to review some of the mystery and romantic suspense novels I discovered.

Let’s start with Shelley Coriell’s romantic suspense series featuring members of a special FBI unit known as The Apostles. In book 1, The Broken, FBI Profiler Hayden Reed is trying to catch a serial killer who brutally stabs broadcasters. Hayden’s best lead might be a former broadcaster who went into hiding after she was attacked. Will he be able to find her?

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Romantic suspense can be a difficult genre to pin down. In this case, the suspense part is a dark, complicated mystery that will leave the reader guessing until the end. Without revealing too much, on the romantic side a relationship between Hayden Reed and victim Kate soon heats up.

The author introduces several characters who the reader will want to see again. Besides Hayden Reed, we meet other members of The Apostles, some of whom will be the main characters of later books in the series, as well as a feisty Sergeant named Lottie King. Once you encounter bighearted Lottie King and her outrageous shoes, you will see why she needed to be the protagonist of her own series of short stories (reviews coming).



The setting for the story roams throughout the West, with scenes in Colorado, Nevada and Tucson, Arizona. The wide open expanses add to the feeling of isolation in some of the scenes.

During her presentation, Shelley gave a heartrending account of how this novel was born from a tragic event in her life. Her father had a stroke and then an accident that nearly cost him his life. During his difficult recovery, Shelley began telling the story as a way to distract him from his health problems. Soon they were working out the details together. She told us her father is the model for one of the characters and helped her decide what he would do in a certain scene. More about how the book came to be is included in the back matter in a section called “The Dish:  Where Authors Give You the Inside Scoop.”

The Broken is an entertaining read with a complex and twisty plot, plus characters you will want to root for. Find out why Shelley Coriell is an award-winning author and pick up a copy today.


Book 2:  The Buried Review

Book 3:  The Blind Review

Series: The Apostles (Book 1)
Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Forever (April 29, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1455528498
ISBN-13: 978-1455528493


(This book is my personal copy)