April grew up poor, got pregnant at 18, and supports herself and her daughter Jenny as a cocktail waitress. She never married Jenny’s father Raul who was abusive to April. Raul is currently in jail for gang related crimes. Raul’s brother Eric is also a gang member, sells drugs, and works in a grocery store. Eric loves April like a brother and gives her money to help out. Noah is a young cop working in the gangs unit. He discovers a dead body – a woman raped and suffocated with a plastic bag. The lead homicide detective is short on manpower and asks Noah to help investigate. Noah talks to the victim’s coworkers which is how he meets April. Noah is immediately drawn to April physically as well as being impressed with her ability to remember faces and details. He begins seeing April. Because of Raul’s abuse, April is reluctant to be with any man, but finds herself drawn to Noah.
Noah’s younger sister Meghan leaves the restrictive religious college her mother sent her to. She wants to work part time and attend a college near Noah. Noah allows her to move in with him. Meghan gets a job in a grocery store where she meets Eric. They begin a relationship. Noah is against it because he knows of Eric’s gang activities.
For most of the book, I was engaged and wanted to keep reading. I cared about the four main characters. I was eager to learn what would happen to them. I enjoyed both stories a lot. There were a few sex scenes for each couple, as expected for books of this genre. They were ok.
I wanted more intrigue and depth to the part about solving the killer. Noah was investigating with no success. Eric also was asking some questions to help Noah with no success. There wasn’t an interesting discovery process. Solving the mystery was more about luck than skill or interesting events. It was discovered and resolved quickly and conveniently toward the end. That was ok, but it was a cookie cutter solution – not creative or different.
The blurb on the back cover was misleading: “April does what she knows she shouldn’t – she defies the neighborhood code by giving the police a hardcore gang member’s name.” This implied that breaking the “code” put her in danger, but it didn’t. No one knew she gave Noah one name. And no gang member was angry or threatening to her because of it. The story was about other people in danger, not April – except for the ending which was a different issue.
Unanswered question: One part didn’t make sense to me. X knew the killer’s name. Y goes to X to ask the name. X refuses to say. The killer than arranges for X to die. The author never told me “how the killer knew about this conversation” as a motive for killing X. It’s been many years. The killer could have killed X anytime. Why now? And if someone else reported this conversation to the killer, then this someone else would be a loose end for the killer to worry about.
Although the main relationship was Noah and April, Eric was the one who captivated me. His story was the stronger story and stayed with me after the book. See Spoiler below.
CAUTION SPOILER REGARDING SAD ENDING (I don’t give away the bad guy’s name):
There is a happy ending for Noah and April, but not for Eric and Meghan. The ending was sad for Eric. It was depressing realism about gang life and never being able to get out. Eric was such a good guy, helped others, and had a wonderful artistic talent, but he doesn’t get his happy ending. After reading the book, the primary feeling that stayed with me was sadness for Eric – not happiness for the main couple. Because this is a romance book, I would have preferred a happier ending for my favorite character Eric.
Story length: 399 pages. Swearing language: strong, including religious swear words. Sexual language: strong. Number of sex scenes: 7. Estimated number of sex scene pages: 25. Setting: current day Chula Vista, California. Copyright: 2011. Genre: romantic suspense.
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I’ve been all over a range of stars for Jill Sorensen’s full length novels. I absolutely loved Crash into Me but didn’t really care for Set the Dark on Fire. With her third full length novel, The Edge of Night, I’m somewhere in the middle. Ms. Sorensen’s writing is excellent, and she’s does a really good job of building up romantic tension and steamy bedroom scenes, but this go around, I found the believability factor questionable based on the characters and felt the murder investigation was a bit lacking. Her books always have a main romantic thread and a fairly significant secondary romantic thread which I tend to find annoying and distracting. Admittedly, I’m impatient and if I want to read about another couple, I’ll buy their story. I don’t know why many books have this recipe and gives me a sense that they didn’t have enough content to write a full story without it, but this time, the secondary storyline was critical to this plotline. In fact, I actually enjoyed the secondary storyline more than the primary. This was a pleasant surprise, but I would have preferred that her efforts with the secondary storyline actually go into some police procedure and relationship building, which was definitely lacking.
Noah Young is a young and ambitious patrol officer with the Chula Vista (Between San Diego and Tijuana) gangs related division of the police force with hopes of making it into homocide. While on patrol with his cynical partner, Patrick, he sees two kids leaving an abandoned playground and they look scared. When he goes to investigate, he finds the body of a young woman who was brutally raped and suffocated with a plastic bag over her head. As the officers who discovered the body, Noah and Patrick are asked to help out with the investigation and it’s a good test for Noah who’s already made it known that he’s applying for the homocide division. They go to interview the people who last saw the victim who worked at a place called Club Suave. As they’re interviewing each of the waitresses, Noah meets April Ortiz, a single mother who is not only smart and beautiful, but the only one who goes out of her way to help the police by slipping them the name of a possible suspect. Noah can’t stop thinking about April and proceeds to pursue an inadvisable personal relationship with her. April, reluctant at first, can’t help but be attracted to Noah, even though she has enough baggage to sink the Titanic.
After all leads come to a dead end, a second murder crops up that directly involves Noah’s sister Meghan and April’s best friend and uncle to her daughter, Eric. Eric was born into gang life and at the age of 20 is struggling to take care of his grandmother, mother, brother and father to April’s daughter, Raul in jail, and of course April and her daughter Jenny. He’s not only seen a lot of violence in his short life, but has directly contributed to it with gang wars, drug trafficking and everything else, but when his friend is murdered, he can’t help but connect the murder to something he witnessed and couldn’t stop ten years ago. Eric, who is deeply imbedded into gang life knows the only way to help the police would lead to his arrest and/or untimely demise, but wants very much to be the kind of person Meghan can be proud of.
This was an engaging read and the interweaving dynamics of the characters, although formulaic, worked fairly well. I really liked Noah as a character, but struggled to find the relationship with April even remotely believable. Aside from physical attraction to one another, April is so damaged at the extremely young age of 23 with a 5 year old daughter of a crime/drug/gang leader and an unreliable drug addict mother, not to mention her background is so damaging to Noah’s career ambitions, I found it difficult to believe a relationship could even get started. There simply wasn’t enough there to make that kind of connection. Eric and Meghan’s story worked very well for me and the almost Romeo and Juliette star crossed young lovers story was engaging and bittersweet. I didn’t figure out who the murderer was until the author wanted me to and she definitely threw some red herrings into the mix to keep you guessing. Overall, it was entertaining with solid writing, a bit of oversuffering, a touch too many characters, high drama and no police procedure.
When it comes to Jill Sorenson, I hold her work in high esteem. Every book I’ve read by her has been great. Jill really knows how to pen atmospheric suspense thrillers that reminds me Hollywood American film noir, better known as the crime drama. Her books are also flavorful and spicy, where you’re kept guessing as to whom the villain is until the very last moment.
The Edge of Night is Jill’s best work to date. There are many subjects brought up and dealt with. We have a serial killer targeting young woman, gang violence, dirty cops, as well as an idealistic cop who falls for a single mother who wants a better life for herself and her daughter. This is one book that would be a great movie because of everything that occurs, as well as a steamy hot romance that will have you glued to the pages.
Officer Noah Young patrols the streets of Chula Vista, a town “sandwiched between San Diego and Tijuana”, near the Mexican border. Noah has dreams of becoming a homicide detective, but he first has to put in his time. His partner Patrick, who has thirty years on the force, thinks Noah is too blue and cares too much. During a routine patrol, Noah and Patrick find the body of a woman who has been raped and suffocated from the plastic bag around her head. Patrick pretty much assumes the woman is a victim of gang violence because of where she was found and perhaps her possible ties to the gangs. Noah thinks differently. They go to the deceased woman’s place of work, and that’s were Noah meets April Ortiz.
April works as a waitress at Club Suave; a former strip joint turned singles bar. April knows all too well about the gangs since Raul, the father of her daughter, Jenny, is a member of the Mexican Mafia and now in prison. April is also going to school to become a social worker, while trying to keep Jenny safe from the ugly streets. She also gets help from Eric, the younger brother of Raul. Eric is trying to leave the gang he’s in, although he does sell drugs, mainly marijuana on the side while working at a supermarket. April is shocked to hear of her co-workers’ death, and although it’s against her better judgment, she gives Noah some information that could help him find the killer.
Noah can’t get April off his mind, but is wary of asking her out because of his job and what’s expected of him. Also, his younger sister Meghan has dropped out of college. She moves in with him and finds a job, coincidentally at the same supermarket Eric works at. Soon Meghan and Eric become friends to Noah disdain. And then another body is found brutalized on the beach of a woman both Meghan and Eric worked with.
As Noah hunts this elusive killer, he also takes the time to court April. Since April has had bad luck with men in the past and feels she doesn’t have time for romance, she tries to keep Noah at a distance. But Noah refuses to allow April to walk out of his life. Not only does Noah treat Jenny wonderful, but he also respects April’s decision to go very slowly, that is until their attraction for one another can’t be ignored. This leads to some very hot and fast, almost animalistic sex between the two in April’s kitchen. Now the ball is in April’s court. Is she willing to trust Noah not to hurt her? How will Noah react when he finds out about Raul and his possible knowledge about the killer terrorizing the women of the city?
The Edge of Night is very “edgy”. I love how Jill was able to bring out so many twists and turns. I felt like I was watching an episode of CSI: Las Vegas unfold. Jill really knows how to grab a reader by their throat and keep them interested. I had absolutely no clue who the killer was and it came as a complete surprise.
Noah is a perfect gentleman. He’s a protector in every sense of the word from the way he’s with his sister Meghan to April. Noah is more of a beta than an alpha, that is until he and April become intimate. Can we say hot banging against the refrigerator sex for the win? Noah is truly a hero in every sense of the word. I also liked how Meghan and Eric’s relationship played out. These two connect on a deep level and watching them try to work things out, mainly from Eric’s end is heartbreaking because of the life Eric has been forced into.
The Edge of Night exceeded all my expectations and then some. The only issue I have is that I’m dying to go to the beach since many scenes were on the beach, near the beach or had mentions of the beach.
I guess you could say that The Edge of Night is a perfect read for the beach. The Edge of Night is a perfect book for great summer reading. Another winner from Jill Sorenson!