August 27, 2012

Meet Natalie R. Collins and Her Newest Book

Natalie R. Collins has 9 published books, several others in various stages of publishing, and is currently working on her next one… or two… or three.  Her current new book is TIES THAT BIND, from St. Martin’s Press. She has dabbled in both dark suspense and cozy mysteries, and is happy to be able to work in both genres.

She has also written for Penguin Putnam, Thompson Gale, BPP, and Sisterhood Publications. She says she does not have a thing for the word “Sister.” A lot of her titles just kind of turned out that way. Maybe it’s branding, and maybe it’s eccentricity.

Or both.

Her website is:

REVIEW:   TIES THAT BIND by Natalie R. Collins

I’ve read every one of Natalie Collins’ books to date and this one, the story of a female police detective’s family destroyed by a tragedy, and the evil that can permeate a small town completely dominated by its Mormon leaders, knocks it out of the park and then some.

Teenagers are committing suicide in Kanesville, Utah, and nobody has any idea why. Police Detective Samantha Montgomery has the feeling they’re not suicide, as has been commonly assumed, and when the young son of the stake president is found hanged with a tie, Sam is more than ever convinced that the deaths are murder. She finds her investigation hampered by her conflicting feelings for Detective Gage Flint, who had her taken off another case in another town and in fact made her lose her job. Now Gage has been borrowed from that town to help with this case.

In spite of the tension racing back and forth between Gage and Sam, she continues with her investigation, with personal memories assailing her from time to time. All the dead young people were found hanged, as was her own sister when Sam was only six. Too many memories. Too many young people dead by hanging. Sam’s mother, who just gave up when her daughter was hanged and never recovered. Sam’s older sister, who left town and never returned. Sam’s father, who struggles to take care of her mother until he’s forced by Sam to take her to the hospital, where she remains. All of it, piling up on Sam as she continues to fight her attraction to Gage.

In this tale of this town that shimmers with evil vibes everywhere, and one female detective’s day by day fight with those trying to keep her from solving any of the cases, I was particularly intrigued by the way Collins brought in new characters. This is the first book I’ve ever read where each new character is introduced by being dropped smack into the story in the middle of a scene without any introduction at all, leaving you to wonder who they are and why they’re here–until a few pages later, when Collins drops in a few of lines of backstory with a deft touch that is perfect every time. It definitely adds to the intensity of the story because you soon realize that nothing in the book is what it first seems and you find yourself constantly guessing, while Collins ups the ante on every page.

This is a powerful, first-rate thriller, her best to date. It pulls you into this town with its religious undercurrents and the obsessions of some of its inhabitants. It’s a whole new fascinating look at Mormonism and its spinoff, polygamy, which enters somewhat, but not too much, into the story.

Natalie Collins’ TIES THAT BIND is so riveting that you’ll find it almost impossible to put down. Make sure you don’t miss this one.  …Beth Anderson, Author and Reviewer August, 2012

That’s it for this week, folks.  Looks like fall’s heading our way here in Washington state.  My favorite time of the year, just full of hope and anticipation of the holidays ahead, and blessed, blessed cool nights.   I absolutely love it here and so does Sarge, who says “Hey!”  See you next week!

XOXO, Beth



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