On Her Watch
June 27, 2024

Book Review

On Her Watch

reviewed by Pam Guynn

What a fantastic addition to this series! Combining a police procedural with family drama and a little romance, On Her Watch by Melinda Leigh, is the eighth book in the Bree Taggert series. Bree has been sheriff in her home county in upstate New York for over a year and the book is set in fictional Grey’s Hollow in Randolph County.

A pair of hikers find a tarp-wrapped body in the woods. When a search of the surrounding area yields two more bodies, Bree knows they’ve found a serial killer’s dumping ground. With the help of her team and civilian criminal investigator and Bree’s boyfriend, Matt Flynn, the case is worked. However, the killer is escalating and threatening Bree’s family.

Bree is smart, skilled, confident, honorable, and determined. She joined law enforcement to help people and that is what she intends to do. She has a commanding presence and utilizes common sense. She can also be stubborn and is unwilling to fully utilize media outreach to help her politically. However, she is learning to navigate the politics, media, and paperwork associated with being a sheriff in a county with a limited budget. Matt is a former sheriff’s deputy injured in the line of duty. He was going to start a K-9 training program, but his sister Cady is using the kennels for rescued dogs. Matt is a great investigator and is a master at interviewing suspects. He loves dogs, including his retired K-9, Brody. He’s also developing a mentor-type relationship with Bree’s sister’s children. Chief Deputy Tod Harvey gets some additional responsibility late in the story to continue his confidence-building.

The storyline is engaging, suspenseful, and includes some very tense scenes. The first chapter pulled me into the tale quickly and kept me rapidly turning the pages all the way to its shocking conclusion. This engrossing crime novel keeps you on the edge of your seat as the race is on to find the killer. As always, the world-building is great. The March mud season was vivid and easily immersed me in the atmosphere. I also enjoyed the few moments of humor as well as some tender moments when they occurred. Besides the investigation, readers get insight into Bree’s family dynamics and how that is changing, as well as how flu epidemics can affect small police departments. The author has weaved another installment involving family, relationships, balancing work and family, trauma, a slow-burn romance, murder, lies, domestic violence, missing persons, and much more. 

Overall, this book has twists, tension, violence, and relatable main and secondary characters. If you are expecting a solid series that will have mysteries, suspense, crime, action, and a little romance, then this is a series that I recommend. Besides this one, I’ve read the seven other books and the prequel in the series. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

I purchased a copy of this novel. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. The publication date May 14, 2024.

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