Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Complex characters in a fast moving story
Cons: Sunset has come on finding cons
The Bottom Line:
Day of wedding death
Plunges Sabrina into
A compelling case
Murdered Bride Provides More Headaches for Sabrina
There are definitely advantages to picking up a debut book months after it comes out – you don’t have to wait as long for the next book in to come out. It’s only been six weeks since I last visited Sabrina Salter on the US Virgin island of St. John, yet I got to book a return trip with Permanent Sunset. It was wonderful to be back.
Sabrina runs a villa rental company on the island of St. John with her friend and business partner Henry. The company has recently taken on the new Villa Nirvana at Henry’s insistence. It’s a huge property so it’s a very prestigious get. Sabrina was happy with how life was, but she has gone along with Henry’s desire to expand.
The first event at this property is actually a wedding. Sean, the younger son of the Keating family that built the villa, is getting married. His bride, Elena, has become a big part of the company - in fact building villas like this one was her idea. The wedding is planned for sunset.
However, after the rehearsal dinner, a family fight erupts when Elena refuses to sign a pre-nuptial agreement. The morning of the wedding, Elena turns up murdered. With the police ready to accuse Sabrina and Henry of not providing adequate security for their clients, Sabrina has to find out what happened to prove that her company isn’t liable. But who would kill a bride before her wedding?
Since it had only been six weeks, the characters were fresh in my mind, and I enjoyed getting to see them again so soon. I was hoping to see more of some of the supporting characters from the previous book, but outside of a quick cameo, most of them were absent. However, our main trio of Sabrina, Henry, and Neil, Sabrina’s boyfriend, are all back and are just as wonderfully complex. I enjoyed seeing growth in them.
We get an entire family of suspects for this book, and they leap off the page right away as real people. You can feel the tension from the beginning. Even though we meet almost everyone in the first chapter or two, I never had a hard time keeping everyone straight, which is saying something since there is a complex family dynamic.
Because of that tension, the pace in this book is strong. I never wanted to put the book down and raced through it in two days. The plot is solid with good clues and red herrings to keep you guessing until the end.
Most of the book is told from Sabrina’s limited third person point of view; she is our main character after all. However, we get the occasional chapter from Henry or Neil’s points of view. Unlike the first book, we don’t see the action from anyone else’s view point, but the technique is used perfectly here.
Unfortunately, I now have a long wait until I can visit Sabrina Salter again. Permanent Sunset is a great follow up that is over all too quickly. Settle in and watch the pages fly.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.