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Close Up by Amanda Quick

Blurb: Vivian Brazier never thought life as an art photographer would include nightly wake-up calls to snap photos of grisly crime scenes or headshots for aspiring male actors. Although she is set on a career of transforming photography into a new art form, she knows her current work is what’s paying the bills. After shooting crime scene photos of a famous actress, the latest victim of the murderer the press has dubbed the “Dagger Killer,” Vivian notices eerie similarities to the crime scenes of previous victims—details that only another photographer would have noticed—details that put Vivian at the top of the killer’s target list. Nick Sundridge has always been able to “see” things that others don’t, coping with disturbing dreams and visions. His talent, or as he puts it—his curse—along with his dark past makes him a recluse, but a brilliant investigator. As the only one with the ability to help, Nick is sent to protect Vivian. Together, they discover the Dagger Killer has ties to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood royalty and high society. It is a cutthroat world of allure and deception that Vivian and Nick must traverse—all in order to uncover the killer who will stop at nothing to add them to their gallery of murders.

Review: Shocking! Another thrilling installment in Amanda Quick's Burning Cove series. Close Up combines the romantic suspense, historical, and paranormal genres together to create a one of a kind read that will have you on the edge of your seat wondering whodunnit.

Amanda Quick has long been a writer of strong heroines and Vivian Brazier is one of her best. Who doesn't love a woman willing to forgo her inheritance to make a name for herself? Brazier is an independent, talented woman who won't stop until her pictures grace the walls of galleries... even if it means taking pictures of grisly crime scenes in the meantime (did I mention she has a strong stomach, too?). I absolutely love a heroine who doesn't balk at being a woman in a man's world.

Nick Sundridge is also a Quick classic. Reclusive, strange, with an intuition you'd be a fool not to trust and a desire, above all else, to protect his woman? He's everything you want in a hero! And I always love a hint of psychic abilities in my men.

I absolutely loved the technical knowledge regarding 1930's photography that was interspersed between the romance and murder. Quick always knows how to find the perfect balance of the plot elements. Overall, Close Up's combination of time period, photography, murder, and romance made for a thrilling foray into the world of competitive art in the 1930's. But, as I've mentioned in so many other reviews of Quick's work (man, does she have a lot of pen names) no one does mystery like Amanda Quick. Readers will be on the edge of their seat wondering who could possibly be the killer... or killers.

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