Even If It Kills Her, by Kate White
The holidays are over, and after eating my fair share of sugary Christmas cookies and watching a few more sweet Hallmark movies than I should have, I found myself looking for something savory to read, and “Even If It Kills Her”, by Kate White, fit the bill.
Bailey Weggins, the lead character in this suspense novel is a character whom White has written several novels around. I have not read any of the other books featuring Bailey, but I believe that not having any previous references to her character nor storylines had no impact on my enjoyment of this book. It was well written, and I never felt, as I have in previous situations, that I was missing something because I didn’t know enough about the main character and how her background affects her in her current situation. Bailey is an interesting character right from the start, smart and saavy, but not perfect. Human. On a side note, the name “Bailey Weggins” bothered me, (maybe too cutesy, too stereotypically "sleuthy"?) so I almost put the book down before I even started it, but I dove in, instead, and I’m glad that I did.
“Kate White returns to her New York Times bestselling Bailey Weggins’ Mystery series, with this favorite true-crime journalist turned sleuth’s most chilling case to date. Bailey Weggins’ great new friend in college, Jillian Lowe, had everything going for her. Pretty, popular, and whip-smart, she lit up any room that she walked into. All of that dramatically changed during her sophomore year, when a neighbor became unhinged and murdered her family. Jillian immediately left school, and ever since, Bailey has felt guilty for not staying in closer contact and being a greater support to her friend.
Now, sixteen years later, Bailey is shocked to see Jillian at her book event, and even more stunned when her still-gorgeous friend approaches her with a case. The man accused of murdering her family is on the brink of being cleared of the crime through new DNA evidence. With the real killer walking free, Jillian is desperate for Bailey’s help to identify him and allow her the closure she yearns for.
As the two women return to Jillian’s childhood town to investigate, it doesn’t take long for their sleuthing to cause shock waves. Someone starts watching their every move. As they uncover deeply-guarded secrets, so shocking that they make Jillian rethink her entire relationship to her family, Bailey and Jillian find themselves in great peril. They must decide just how much they’re willing to risk to finally discover the truth about the Lowe family’s murder.”
This was a good book to read during our recent cold spell...I wanted to stay curled up in my chair to keep reading, yet it wasn’t so suspenseful that I had to put it down well before bedtime! Kate White very smartly keeps releasing details about the various characters personalities and situations throughout the chapters, so as soon as you think you’ve got the mystery solved, she throws you a curve. I can often sniff out the killer early on in a novel or movie, and although I did have my suspicions, it wasn’t until very close to the killer actually being revealed on the pages that I would have bet my jeopardy money on it. I like that! Although the ending did feel a bit “wrapped up in a hurry”, I didn’t mind because I enjoyed the time it took to get there.
“Compulsively readable and skillfully plotted, EVEN IF IT KILLS HER is Kate White’s dynamic return to the Bailey Weggins series. It entertains and excites from the very first page – I dare you to put it down!” -Karin Slaughter, New York Times and International Bestselling Author
“White builds suspense masterfully, and this seventh in the Bailey Weggins series has the makings of another hit. Bailey is a smart, sexy sleuth, and her exploits make for thoroughly entertaining reading.” - Michele Leber, Booklist
“Another long-time favorite of the column, a witty writer of mostly New York-ish, mostly woman-centered psychological suspense fiction, White calls back into action her series character of a few years ago, Bailey Weggins—and takes her to small-town New England. A new, slightly autumnal tone is detectable in this one—Bailey’s still smart-mouthed and funny, but maybe a little more in touch with second thoughts and even a regret or two for past carelessness. But she is given a chance, here, to correct just such a lapse in her past when a college pal calls on her to help investigate a family mystery with her. It’s as always a well-worked out, believable and involving family mystery with a touch of tragedy, and a pleasure to recommend.” —Shawangunk Journal
After reading the book, the reviews above, and general reader reviews of Kate White's work, I’ve decided to check out the other books in the Bailey Weggins mystery series. If you’re interested as well, in order of publication, they are: If Looks Could Kill (2002), A Body to Die For (2003), 'Til Death Do Us Part (2004), Over Her Dead Body (2005), Lethally Blonde (2007), So Pretty It Hurts (2012) Even If It Kills Her (2017)
I’ll race you to the library!