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Reviewed by Sherri Fulmer Moorer for Readers' Favorite
Laurel McDowell is ready to start over. After a violent altercation with her fiance, she loads up her car with her cat and a few meager belongings, sells her engagement ring, and heads home from Seattle to her family home in Big Sur. It doesn't take long for her to meet Jake Carlson, a forensic accountant with the FBI, and find a job with an art gallery in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Things are on track for her to return to her dream of being an artist, except her ex-fiance comes back, demanding that she return a flash drive that he hid in her belongings. Soon after that, he washes up dead on Carmel Beach, leaving Jake, her best friend, and her employers confused and fearful that the life she left behind is catching up with her. Second Wind by Alison Henderson is a thrilling adventure that will keep you turning pages well past your bedtime.
One thing I particularly enjoyed about Second Wind is that it's a well-balanced novel. It has just the right mixture of intriguing characters, mystery, suspense, and romance to keep most readers engaged with the thrilling plot, without leaning too heavily in one area. I really admire how Laurel shows such strength and gumption to step out and recreate her life, despite repeated efforts by her ex-fiance and his associates to reel her back in. I also like the strong thread of family in this book, and how Laurel's mother and sisters take an active role in her life without being overbearing or intrusive. Alison Henderson does a great job of creating a compelling, intriguing mystery with enough real-life elements to make you believe these could be your own friends and neighbors. An excellent novel that I highly recommend!