REVIEW: Storm Clouds by Bronwyn Parry

Published: January 13, 2015

Publisher: Hachette Australia

Pages: 356

Format: Paperback (purchased)

RRP: $29.99

5/5 Stars

National Parks ranger Erin Taylor loves her job, is falling for her colleague, Simon, and is finally leaving her past behind . . .

Until a woman is murdered. But the victim is not just any woman – she’s Simon’s wife, Hayley. The wife he’s never mentioned. The wife he’s not seen in fourteen years. On the edge of the national park the alternative lifestyle ‘Community of Bliss’ denies knowledge of Hayley, but Simon and Erin suspect otherwise. Erin will have to draw on all her old skills – deception, lying, cheating – to gain the trust of its members and discover their secrets.

As Simon uncovers shocking details about the reclusive group, Erin is drawn further into their midst and finds a web of lies, decades old – and comes face-to-face with the charismatic, manipulative, dangerous leader who will let nothing and no-one stand in his way. On the wrong side of a river in flood that has become a lethal torrent, Erin and Simon must race to expose the truth and prevent a tragedy . . .

At the end of every year, around Christmas day to be precise, there are two Australian Authors that I start to scour the shelves for. The first is Bronwyn Parry, the second Loretta Hill. This year, it took me longer to find Bronwyn Parry’s new release Storm Clouds and thus I couldn’t start the book on Christmas Eve like I had with the previous release, instead I tracked the book down (I may have purchased the very first copy from the box we received in at work) and made it my first book of 2015. Let’s just say that it set the bar pretty damn high for the rest of the year.

With the Goodabri National Park Rangers battered and still bruised from the events of Dead Heat, Park Ranger Erin Taylor finds herself drowning under the weight of a three person workload. So when her work colleague Simon returns home suddenly Erin is not only relieved to off load some of the Parks workload, but ecstatic to see her friend… and if that friend just happens to ignite a fire in her she hasn’t felt with anyone else for a long time, that’s okay by Erin too. But her happiness and joy is short lived, when moments after retuning, and Erin’s enthusiastic welcome home, Simon’s wife Hayley is found murdered. In Simon’s house. If that wasn’t bad enough, no one in town knew Simon was married. Ever. With Simon now the key suspect in a murder case, and Erin’s world turned upside down by the shocking revelation, Erin needs to work out who she can trust and what she believes fast … for the only thing Erin can be sure of now, is that there is a murderer amongst their mist … and he may or may not just have his eye on her next.

I’ve once heard the author say that her style of writing (and the type of stories she tells) often means her characters are forced to drink an unusually large amount of coffee and not much else as they are pushed and pulled, prodded and bewildered by the bag guys and the remote environment around them. Storm Clouds is no exception. Erin and Simon are pushed through so much both mentally, emotionally and physically in this book that as a reader you have everything crossed for them to come out the other side reasonably unscathed as possible, especially when it comes to their relationship. I know I for one, was clenching my book tighter in parts and yelling at the pages at other times when particular events pushed them apart or caused them to separate for this or that reason. I was so desperate to know what happened that I read the book in practically one sitting.

While it’s true Storm Clouds is loosely linked to Bronwyn Parry’s 2012 release Dead Heat, it is not altogether necessary to have read Dead Heat in order to appreciate or understand the going ons in Storm Clouds. In fact apart from the use of the same Northern NSW town of Goodabri and a couple of character cameos, the book can be seen (and thus read) as a stand alone. There are characters that appear in both Dead Heat and Storm Clouds, and some of the events of Dead Heat (in particular Jo Lockwood and Nick Matheson’s story) is referenced and plays minor havoc with the chaos that enters Erin and Simon’s lives, but this is mostly due to National Park Ranger understaffed personal problems (Jo was Erin’s work mate and she is still recovering from the incidents of her book; Erin and Simon are first introduced to us in Dead Heat) and some of the police procedures (where some figures are still dealing with previous books crimes and legalities).

Mystery. Check. Intrigue. Check. Remote Locations. Check. Heroic leads with off the chart chemistry. Double Check. A well written and believable plot. Double Check. What more could a book addict ask for?

Storm Clouds by Bronwyn Parry not only hits all the right boxes for me, it blew them all out of the water, cementing this book (and Bronwyn Parry) on my definite MUST READ list of 2015. Trust me, you won’t want to miss out on this one.

Storm Clouds is an exceptionally well written and superbly paced romantic suspense narrative that is sure to leave you on the edge of your seat and frantically trying to solve the big mystery of the book before it’s big reveal on the page – and what a big reveal it is. I really loved this book and highly recommend it other romantic suspense fans, or anyone who loves a good romance story with a bit more weight and perhaps mettle to it.

 

To purchase a copy of Storm Clouds visit the following online retailers:

Hachette Australia | Booktopia | Amazon US | Amazon AU | Amazon UK | iBooks AU | Angus & Robertson Bookworld | Book Depository | Worderly |

To Learn more about Bronwyn Parry and her books, visit the following social media sites:

Bronwyn Parry’s Website | Facebook | Goodreads

 

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