"Dead Sprint" By Caroline Fardig: Review/Giveaway

Review by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

Criminologist to Professor and Back Again

Ellie Matthews was a well-respected criminologist, but after a grisly murder turned personal, she traded in her badge for a professorship at Ashmore College. However, her former mentor and friend Sheriff Jayne Walsh isn’t shy about her efforts to get Ellie involved in the more “high-profile” homicide cases, and although she is adamant about not being a regular consultant, the college has been very accommodating when the sheriff’s department requests her assistance...thank goodness for TAs! Her home life includes her half-sister Rachel still reeling from an intense kidnapping she experienced when a psycho went for her to get to Ellie, her energetic three-year-old nephew Nate always ready with a big hug, and Golden Retriever Trixie as a trusty protector. There is Vic Manetti, the FBI agent she collaborated with during a recent serial killer investigation, to spice up her days along with skilled Detective Nick Baxter who wishes their professional friendship was more personal. But, retreating to the safety of the halls of academia, being responsible for her family, and navigating issues with Baxter and Vic’s attentions, won’t keep her away from the dead bodies, murderous psychos, and resurfacing of personal demons.

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Dead Sprint Earns
5/5 Niggling Red Flags...Engaging and Clever Thriller!

At first, running with “he’s not my boyfriend” Vic Manetti was a means to a more fit end, but it was misinterpreted as a true passion and now Ellie is entered in a 10k, resigned to eat healthier, and forced to hide tacos. At a pre-race gathering at Manetti’s house, the running club had more than their fair share of tips and suggestions for Ellie’s first competition...music, no music, have fun, be serious, win, or why get up in the morning! Not really a carefree jaunt with a dusting of snow on the ground, but Ellie was going to do her best. But her best will be tested!

Up ahead they see several competitors crowding around a downed tree. Vic takes the lead and speeds up to check it out. Then, with his best “cop face,” he starts barking demands to clear the area of lookie-loos and shutterbugs...“Ellie, I need you over here!” The gruesome discovery is now a crime scene. It becomes more complicated when Vic remarks he recognizes the victim as a member of his running club and...a former girlfriend. After securing the site, informing the EMTs it’s no longer an emergency, and Vic flexing his Fed’s ‘I’m in charge” muscle, Ellie flexes her “I’m in charge” jurisdiction. Personally they’re fine, but professionally they’re oil and water or maybe two ten year olds competing for the last cupcake. When Sheriff Walsh arrives, she puts Ellie in the lead partnering with Detective Baxter. They try to put their personal issues aside for the sake of the case, but it’s Manetti’s interference, demand for personal involvement, and connection to the victim that causes problems for Ellie’s continued participation. Until the next murder!

Brilliant! Caroline Fardig has penned an engaging thriller as the third book starring Ellie Mathews giving readers a murder investigation that starts out as cut and dry domestic violence, but quickly evolves into a more compelling thriller, especially when another victim is discovered. The details about crime scene protocols, evidence gathering, and police procedures was a fascinating element adding to the realism I crave. The conflict between Vic and Ellie because of his manner and connection to the first victim, the issues tied to Nick’s personal feelings for Ellie that he can’t avoid, Vic’s volatile attitude, Ellie’s sobriety challenges, and Nick’s quiet jealousy add a strong emotional complexity. However, the Nick and Ellie professional partnership reveals an emotional depth on both sides. Readers will be picking sides: Team Nick? Team Vic? Team moving on? The characters are very realistic, a favorite element, from admirable (Ellie! Nick!) to those you’d like to kick to the curb (Sterling! Beck!), but it’s also in their ability to work together, mentor, and even the professional conflicts that manifest in snarky retorts. The fact that I have strong feelings and emotions elicited by Fardig’s story is a testament to her description, dialogue, and design! Wow, as the story starts to wind down, the suspense ramps up all the way to shocking details and a nail-biting arrest!

 Ellie Mathews Series

Bitter Past (2017)

An Eye for an Eye (2018)

Dead Sprint (2021)

Be a Big Caroline Fardig Fan!

Caroline Fardig USA Today Best Selling Author is quite an eclectic author writing cozies and thrillers. Along with these three Ellie Mathews suspense-filled novels, she also pens cozies at their best with a little humor snuck in for fun: the five-book Java Jive Mystery, five-book Lizzie Hart Mystery, and three-book Southern B&B Mystery series.

Facebook - Caroline Fardig Books 

Website—Caroline Fardig

Blog - Caroline Fardig

 To enter to win an ebook copy of Dead Sprint, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "sprint,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 12, 2021. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode went up this week.

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


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