Dead Girl Running by Christina Dodd

Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Publisher: HQN
Author: Christina Dodd
Release Date: April 24, 2018

Situated on the rugged Pacific Coast is a popular vacation resort. That's where Kellen Adams is currently working as the assistant manager. There are a few things readers need to know though. Some of the information Kellen gives are lies.

The truth is that Kellen can't remember an entire year of her life. She senses she's on the run. She knows she has a bullet scar on her forehead. The rest is a blur of memories that linger but don't come in clearly.

When the resort's owners go on a much-needed winter vacation, Kellen is left on her own to put all of their training to the test. Things go horribly awry when a body washes up. The body is that of a woman and she's missing her hands.

Every guest and worker at the resort is now a suspect. Kellen doesn't know who to trust. She does know that it's up to her to figure out what's going on and stop a killer before another person ends up dead.

I've loved Christina Dodd's books in the past. Dead Girl Running ended up being more of a miss than a hit.

First, there is a lot going on in this book. It's the first book in a series, which explains why so much happens. You have the mystery involving Kellen's missing year. There's the killer. There's also the book's opening with the prior assistant manager finding something, trying to blackmail someone, and then fleeing when she realizes she can't pull it off.

Because the last assistant manager took off without giving notice, the owners are a little more hesitant at fully trusting Kellen. Eventually, you learn they're hiding a secret. So, we suddenly have the owners with one secret that somehow ties into Kellen's life. There's Kellen's secret. There's the former assistant manager's secret. There's also the murder. The murder turned out to be the biggest disappointment as I pegged the killer's identity very early. It didn't seem that challenging to me.

As the story continues, you have a lot of things coming together at once. It all seemed so rushed. Because this is the first in a series, some things are left open for the next book. I really don't find myself that intrigued with knowing the rest. I struggled with Kellen's habit of creating a quick briefing/checklist of each guest or worker at the resort.

Some of the story appealed to me and I wanted it in more depth. Other parts lost me and never held my interest. As a result, I found myself a little too eager to set the book aside for something else. I wanted to love it, but at most, I was able to finish it but never really loved what I was reading.


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