I started reading Bente Gallagher’s novel, A Cutthroat Business, after meeting her at Killer Nashville. She’s a totally cool person and her book intrigued me from what she mentioned during her panel about blending romance and mystery. Then I read the blurbs and had to buy it.
It made my flight back from San Diego fly by. I fell in love with her protagonist, Savannah Martin, a southern belle who did everything right but ended up divorced and cash strapped. So she starts out in the real estate business.
Ms. Gallagher does a great job here of giving just enough detail to make it realistic without inundating the reader with realtor lingo. She made me interested in real estate. I think that is the mark of a great author, when they make you curious about the career they give their protagonist.
Anyway, in Savannah, you have a likeable heroine who’s got her quirks and flaws, but I immediately signed up to see where the story went because of her. There is amazing voice from page one. I tend to favor protagonists with a sense of humor and Savannah definitely has that too.
Rafe Collier is the bad boy that Savannah gets embroiled with because of the murder at a listing she was showing him. He’s dreamy to read and their chemistry is undeniable. The supporting characters are also well crafted and you get a vivid image of the other realtors and Savannah’s family.
The writing is top notch. A fun read, great pacing, and snappy dialogue.
So onto the plot–really well thought out, I had no idea who the killer was, and I loved following Savannah and Rafe as they looked into things and tried to put the pieces together.
The book is set in Nashville, which I enjoyed after seeing a bit of the city during my time at Killer Nashville. I confess, being a northerner, I do love books set in the south.
I had 100 pages left last night and I couldn’t put the book down. Seriously, I was up until 3:10 AM finishing it. I won’t spoil the ending but I will say it was highly satisfying. Now I’m dying for the next Savannah Martin Mystery.
The blurbs on the book are completely true! If you only have time to read a few mysteries this Fall, add A Cutthroat Business to your list.