Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “Into Hell I go.”
FBI agent Eden Collins vowed never to return home to Clear Springs, Montana. Growing up the daughter of an infamous cult leader, her childhood was not pleasant. When Eden receives an anonymous picture of a homicide victim who has tattoos similar to those of her mother’s followers, Eden knows it’s time to head home to confront her past and hopefully catch a killer.
Sheriff Zach Owens is in over his head when girls start disappearing and turning up dead in his small town. Eden Collins’ sudden arrival in town seems a little too coincidental but Zack will use whatever and whoever he can to stop the killer(s). Only, he doesn’t count on her being so attractive or him being so protective of her. Zack knows she is the only one who can access the inner sanctum of the reclusive cult but fears he may be sending her right into the killer’s arms.
The Devil’s Daughter is a deviation from Katee Robert’s usual romantically focused fare. The first book in her Hidden Sins series, this intense psychological thriller builds a layered and complicated story that takes a look into the world of cults and the powerful allure behind them. Through the eyes of a former member. The edgy atmosphere lends a hand to the overall dark and mysterious quality the story holds as Robert’s leads her readers down a rabbit hole of power, sex, mysticism, and murder. Heavily character driven the book effortlessly balances the intensity of the murder investigation with the internal struggles of the heroine, FBI agent Eden Collins, creating some interesting dynamics.
I don’t want to go back. Please don’t make me. It was the cry of a child in the dark. She’d worked very, very hard to leave that child behind, but the little-girl voice had a nasty habit of popping up at the worst times.
Robert’s has a definite gift for nail biting stories that leaves you hanging onto every little word. She pulls no punches and allows you little time to accept before tossing you next challenge. Smooth flowing with minimal fillers-this story grabs you and doesn’t let go till the end. The narrative is easy to follow, even with the occasional head jumping. A strong investigative base allows readers an inside look while steady pacing and intense suspense flies us all the way home. The romance and the conflict blend effortlessly together though the romance remains a low-key presence that doesn’t offer readers any real concrete resolutions in here.
With one girl missing, and now one dead, all eyes turn towards the local cult Elysia, and Martha Collins, its charismatic leader. Zach attempts to question Martha but is instantly stonewalled. A war veteran with some PTSD, this small town sheriff’s mama bear style protective warrior status is a direct result of his traumatic experience. Intelligent, handsome, and loyal to the core, he takes each death personally and struggles with maintaining a professional demeanor.
“Do you often collect people you considered yours?”
“Call it a habit I’ve never been able to escape.”
When Eden appears in town, Zach isn’t instantly on board with her help but soon grows to trust her as he sees her commitment towards justice-a trait she shares with him.
Eden Collins’ left home 10 years ago after a traumatic event that left her convinced death would soon follow. Completely reinventing herself, she becomes a FBI agent. A strong, intelligent, emotionally isolated heroine with a strong sense of justice and deep-seated vein of vulnerability. Calm, cool, and collected, she hides her insecurities well. It’s only when she comes home does those insecurities and fears come roaring back to the surface. Though she sees the truth behind her mother’s false prophecies and god-like stature, she is more than aware of the power her mother welds. A power that Eden struggles not to fall back under herself.
She looked like the kind of woman who’d gather lost souls to her ad hold them till they were whole again.
Which is exactly why she was so dangerous.
I enjoyed meeting Eden and Zach. Robert’s works to build on their connection, showing us a team that works well together despite their differences. The romance is slow burning though heavy with chemistry. Robert’s takes her time exploring Eden’s and Zach’s attraction, using the investigation and their individual demons as speed bumps. Eden has spent her adult life alone and on the move. Her childhood has left her unable to easily trust and her job sends her everywhere. Engaging dialog and revealing emotional scenes help to tip the scale towards love. Zach’s protective streak comes out strong concerning Eden. While he wants to protect her from harm, he doesn’t coddle her. He recognizes her strength, skills, and tenacity. Though Eden doesn’t feel she has anything to offer Zach, he refuses to give up on them.
He was like a golden god who’d wandered into this strangely domestic scene, and she didn’t know how to reconcile the two conflicting impressions.
A varied cast of secondary characters are well developed and fleshed out. They slip effortlessly in and out of the story. We see many different relationships in here that further explore the mentality behind cults and the various methods that are used to keep the followers complacent and faithful. Eden’s mother is complex character who we get to know through Eden’s eyes. I found Eden’s ability to see right through her mother’s hype interesting and wondered if it was her childhood that allowed for that or her extremely strong will.
As we get closer to solving the mystery there are some very intense reveals that left me shocked. The duplicity and deception left me reeling at the implications. The ending is an explosive finale that resolves the conflict and answers all our immediate questions but leaves enough open to lead us into book two. The Devil’s Daughter is an excellent endeavor and sure to appeal to fans of romantic suspense with a strong thriller/mystery base. I am looking forward to the next in this series; to be announced.