Once Wicked Always Dead by T. Marie Benchley
Publication Date: September 1, 2010
Hardcover: 296 pages
What happens when a family's darkest secrets put lives in jeopardy? How far would you go for love?
A sharp mystery that swirls with family secrets, betrayal, love and loss, Once Wicked Always Dead is a strong debut from an author with literary blood in her veins.
The story begins with Molly Madison unaware of the Sociopath who is on the loose, creating havoc with a sense of their own justice. Her life is shattered by the sudden death of her beloved parents and the revelation of her husband Phillip's affair - with another man - Molly leaves the life of country clubs and the luxury of city life in Florida and heads west to Montana, resolved to run the family ranch, and to move on with her life. Her attraction to Clayton Leatherbe, the ranch foreman, is instant, but before a romance can blossom, the ranch falls prey to sabotage by wealthy land developers determined to drive Molly out, and Clayton learns of a family secret and collides with the Sociopath that could put the ranch - and Molly's life - in jeopardy.
I would classify this as a romance thriller. The premise was good. I enjoyed the book as I began to read, it was interesting and moved at a steady pace. Since romance is not a genre that I particularly enjoy I struggled a little when the romance picked up in the story. I was uncomfortable with the gratuitous sex scenes-just not my thing. As I said romance books are not my thing but I found plenty of other points to like about the book. It was fluent, fast-paced and entertaining. Although I did not have a hard time figuring out who the murderer was, the twist at the end made it a little more interesting. Benchley is a skilled writer and can hold your interest. I appreciate a book that is not filled with grammatical errors and has a decent vocabulary.
If you are a romance/romance thriller fan you would really enjoy the book. There is a good back story to the romance and it moves well. I was entertained and it held my interest. T. Marie is a member of the Benchley family that includes Peter Benchley of Jaws fame and American Humorist Robert Benchley.
The ARC was provided by Newman Press for an honest review.