Angel Lost, by F.M. Meredith.
Vice Officer Stacey Wilbur is having trouble keeping the thoughts of her upcoming wedding at bay while at work. Between her job and all the wedding plans, she hasn't had much time to spend with her fiancé, Detective Doug Milligan. Then comes a new case, a flasher showing himself off to women jogging along the beach. Stacey decides to set herself up as bait, and Doug is less than happy about it.
Vaughn Aragon has recently transferred to the Rocky Bluff P.D. from L.A. He says he is looking for a slower lifestyle, but his strange behavior makes some of his fellow officers suspicious.
Abel Navarro has trouble concentrating on his work when his mother begins to show signs of Alzheimer's. One forgotten memo could put an officer's life on the line.
When a mysterious angel appears in the window of a local furniture store, not everyone is sure what to make of it. Is it real? Is it a hoax? One thing's for sure, it means members of the Rocky Bluff P.D. will be working crowd control until the excitement dies down.
The lives of the Rocky Bluff P.D. are never boring.
I began reading the Rocky Bluff P.D. series when Smell of Death came out. That was prior to my working with Marilyn Meredith (also writing under the name F.M. Meredith), to promote her Deputy Tempe Crabtree and Rocky Bluff P.D. books. What I picked up right away on with this series, is that Meredith focused on showing how the personal lives of the members of the Rocky Bluff P.D. are impacted by their jobs. From divorces, to deaths, to marriages, and everything in between, a career in law enforcement means you don't leave your job at the door when you come home.
With Angel Lost, it appears the author decided to concentrate more on the personal lives of her characters than their jobs. Not that there isn't a lot going on at the Rocky Bluff P.D.--there is--it's just that we have Stacey and Doug's upcoming wedding, Gordon Butler (my favorite) planning to move out of Doug's house so that Stacey and her son Davey can move in after the wedding, and Abel's mother developing signs of Alzheimer's. The appearance of the angel in the furniture store window is also something I consider more personal, as Barbara and Ryan Strickland are a bit divided over if it's real or not.
After I read Smell of Death in 2008, I purchased and read all the previous books in the series:
I believe the first book I represented through Pump Up Up Book was No Sanctuary, followed by An Axe to Grind. The series has changed publishers since the beginning, so some books are only available through the author's website.
Upon considering Angel Lost against the previous books in the series, I felt it wasn't as edgy as the others. The crimes, though many, didn't hold as much of an element of danger as I have come to expect from the Rocky Bluff P.D. books. While I still enjoyed watching the further development of characters I've grown to love, I kind of was hoping for a major gruesome murder. Does that make me a sick individual?
I was glad to see the addition of Vaughn Aragon to the force. He quickly became a favorite. I hope we see more of him in future books. I'm also hoping my other favorite, Gordon, gets a book that focuses mostly on him. A lot of what he gets into brings comic relief, but you have to like a guy who attracts nothing but bad luck and odd cases.
With Angel Lost, Meredith continues to do what she does best: provide an entertaining story that draws you in and takes hold of you until the very last word. In addition, all these books, while part of a series, are excellent stand-alone novels. This book, like the others, left me eager for more of the members of the Rocky Bluff P.D. It's a good thing I know 2012 will bring the next book. I'm not sure I could wait patiently otherwise.
Title: Angel Lost
Author: F.M. Meredith
Publisher: Dark Oak Mysteries
The author paid a fee to promote her book with a virtual book tour through Pump Up Your Book! This fee did not include a favorable review. I received no monetary compensation for this review, which contains my honest opinions of the book. An e-Copy of the book was provided free of charge by the author.