The Texas Murder Files Book 3
May 24th, 2022
Midnight Dunes by Laura Griffin has intrigue, romance, suspense, and mystery. Many of the previous characters from the Lost Beach Police Department show up as well. The relationships, both professional and personal, are well written, showing how each had a pursuit of justice.
The setting of the island community of Lost Beach Texas adds to the suspense. “I wanted to write about this coastal town. I grew up spending my summers here. I fit into the story: the sights, the smells, the weather, the food, and the people.”
The heroine, Macey Burns, like Miranda Rhoads, the heroine of the previous book, comes to the island of Lost Beach in search of a reset. After a bit of personal and professional scandals, Macey needs to do the things she loves and do it on her own terms. She’s hoping this job with the city will be a launching pad for a new business. She’s ready to focus on her first passion, documentary filmmaking, and has a new job working for the island’s tourism board, shooting footage of the idyllic beachside community.
“I wrote Macey as having a background in TV journalism. She is very tenacious, curious, outspoken, all characteristics needed for her job. She moved away from TV reporting to film making. She has been through the ringer after losing her job and wants a fresh start, determined to reinvent herself with a start-up company.”
She rents a small house on the beach to relax and work on her new job. When a body is found in the sand dunes not far from her rental, she learns that the dead woman was the previous tenant of the house she is renting, Julia Murphy, who turned up murdered.
Learning some details and using her skills as a former TV reporter, Macey begins to connect the dots about the murder. Realizing she can give some perspective to the case; detective Owen Breda picks her brain to help make inroads. Being the brother of the previous books’ hero, Joel Breda, he is under intense pressure to solve this murder. With the clock ticking, cameras rolling, and the body count climbing, Macey and Owen must use all their resources to find the killer without getting caught in the crosshairs.
“Owen is very protective for those he cares about. He is also very intuitive, intense, persistent, confident, and follows his instincts. Owen is very easy going. Sometimes he feels overshadowed by his brother because of the rivalry, since he is also a detective.”
The relationship is a slow burn. They are attracted to each other, but for various reasons keep backing off. Yet, they are brought together under numerous circumstances, which allows them to grow closer. “I had Macey as very wary given her past experiences, but Owen’s persistence wares her down. The complications are due to secrets and distrust.”
This is an exciting, intriguing, suspenseful thriller that will keep readers on the edge, especially as pages are turned to the final climax. A bonus is the wry humor that is a release from the gut-clenching terror.
As with all her books murder mysteries with some romances are prevalent. “I am writing two romantic suspense novels a year. I am very interested in forensics and try to weave it into all my stories. Next spring will be another book in this series. Leyla, Owen and Joel’s sister, is the heroine. She runs a café on the Island. Before that book, I am doing a stand-alone book titled Vanishing Hour, coming out in October. It is the story of a woman with a search and rescue dog. She gets pulled into a homicide investigation and mysterious disappearances in a large park in Texas, working with a detective who she gets romantically involved.”