As Good as Dead
Beverly Barton
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Buy *As Good as Dead* online

As Good as Dead
Beverly Barton
384 pages
September 2004
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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As Good As Dead by Beverly Barton is the third book in her romantic suspense Cherokee Pointe trilogy. While this novel stands on its own as a fast-paced suspenseful story, the reader will understand more about the various characters and the history of the town itself if they read the first two books in the series. Cherokee Pointe is a town with swirling undercurrents, powerful families, scandals, secrets, and now murder as a serial killer has set his sights on the small town.

Reve Sorrell was abandoned as a child thirty years ago and adopted in infancy by a wealthy socialite couple. Her adoptive parents are now deceased, and Reve is alone in the world. When a man she meets at a party tells her that he knows a woman in Cherokee Pointe who could pass for her twin, Reve goes to investigate. Her first encounter with Jazzy Talbot is a disaster, with both of them taking an instant dislike to one another. The two women couldn’t be more different in personality; Reve is slightly snobbish, having been raised as the only daughter of rich parents, and Jazzy is a flamboyant, sexy woman from the wrong side of the tracks. Reve is ready to leave town immediately, but she is involved in a minor car accident and then becomes a suspect in a local murder.

Months have passed since that first visit to Cherokee Pointe, and Reve has returned to her lonely life. But she’s been unable to put Jazzy Talbot out of her mind. So now she is returning to Cherokee Pointe to uncover the truth about her past and her connection to Jazzy. Besides looking alike, both women were abandoned at birth, and they are both now questioning the truth about their pasts. Reve and Jazzy join forces to investigate the matter while they are waiting for the results of their DNA test to confirm what they already suspect—that they are indeed sisters. But someone wants the truth of what happened thirty years ago left buried and is willing to do anything to keep it hidden.

Jacob Butler is the Sheriff of Cherokee Pointe, a former Navy Sea, and a good friend of Jazzy Talbot. He and Reve have had a mutual dislike for one another since Reve first came to town looking for Jazzy. After their last run-in when she was a murder suspect for a short time in one of his investigations, Reve had been glad to see the last of him. She finds him rough and uncivilized, while he considers her a rich snob. But fate throws them together again when Reve and Jazzy begin to uncover the secret of their respective pasts.

Now there is a serial killer on the loose, and he has come to Cherokee Pointe. All his victims are found naked except for the black satin ribbon tied around their necks. Their bodies are dumped in either a river, lake, or creek. The only thing the women have in common are that they are redheads and prostitutes or women with a reputation for being fast and loose. Suddenly, Jazzy and Reve, who are both redheads, are in danger from this serial killer. And while Jazzy has her fiancé, Caleb, to protect her, it is up to Jacob to protect Reve.

Reve and Jazzy grow closer as they spend time with one another, and Reve is drawn into the daily life of Cherokee Pointe and its inhabitants. She and Jacob agree to a truce in their animosity as they are forced to deal with each other on almost a daily basis. Both do their best, but soon can no longer deny the strong physical and emotional attraction that is growing between them.

Once Reve and Jazzy begin to unravel the secrets of their past, a killer from the past threatens to strike again. And the serial killer, who is now taking victims in Cherokee Pointe, might target Jazzy or Reve next. Beverly Barton skillfully weaves an intricate tale of suspense that keeps the pages turning. In this final book of the series, she not only delivers a powerful story of love, families, and murder, she ties up loose ends for all the characters in the earlier two novels, The Fifth Victim and The Last To Die. As Good As Dead is a gripping, exciting conclusion to a riveting series.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Norma Collins, 2004

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