If You Know Her is the third in
the Ash Trilogy by Shiloh Walker. I haven’t read the previous two books, but that
isn’t a significant problem with this story in that events of the previous books that relate to this story
If You Know Her
ostensibly focuses on two people: Nia Hollister and Law Reilly. I say ‘ostensibly’ as there is a fair amount of time given to characters in the previous books, and the initial focus on Nia and Law wanes toward the end of the book, where we spend more time with some of the other characters. Not a problem if you’ve read the other books, but these characters were fairly vague to me.
Nia’s sister, Joely, was murdered in the town of Ash, Kentucky. Although months have passed and the perpetrator has been killed and buried, she still feels that things aren’t quite resolved. When she reads of a recent murder which she feels
bears the hallmarks of her sister’s attack, she believes that the murderer is still out there and travels to Ash to do some investigating.
She meets Law Reilly again when she arrives in Ash; at their previous meeting, she waved a gun at him. He seems to have gotten over that remarkably well, and the first half of the book is largely Nia and Law getting to know each other and starting a romance.
We also have a few short scenes from the point of view of the murderer.
The second half of the book focuses more on Nia’s investigation and the attempts of the murderer to scare her away. The book reaches a significant climax and the pace picks up, but this
is never an edge-of-your-seat thriller.
If You Know Her is a reasonable read, but I found it
somewhat lacking. Firstly, I found it hard to really get into the heads of either lead character. Their romance
is believable but not very exciting. Secondly, the murder mystery aspect of the story
is weak in places, particularly with regard to the sheriff’s actions at the end (he seems surprisingly reluctant to warn people that there’s a murderer about). I didn’t believe in the murderer, either--he spends a lot of time trying to frighten Nia off when it doesn’t really serve him.
There are a great deal of romantic suspense books out there, and this one falls short of the standard of many of the others. However, for those who have read the other
entries in the series, If You Know Her wo;; probably be more enjoyable than for those, like me,
who start with Book Three.