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TIES THAT BIND Natalie R. Collins
St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 978-0-312-94199-4
August 2012

Kanesville, Utah Present Day

Mark Malone, high ranking official in the Mormon Church, finds the lifeless body of his son, Jeremiah, hanging in his study. Everyone says it's suicide, but the clues on and around Jeremiah's body tell a different story for homicide detective Samantha Montgomery. Her partner, D-Ray, is in agreement. Jeremiah's death is the third such death in Sam's hometown of Kanesville. The first two deaths were ruled suicides, and now Samantha must prove that those verdicts and this one are wrong. All these teenagers were murdered.

Sam is ready to roll into her investigation when she learns Detective Gage Flint from the Salt Lake PD has been assigned to assist on this case. Apparently her chief thinks she needs help, but Flint is definitely not the person Sam would choose for the job. Flint is the reason she was forced to leave the Salt Lake PD. He cost her everything, and she won't let him ruin her reputation in her own hometown. As Samantha digs deeper and deeper into the murders of these teenagers, what she uncovers points to her own family, leaving too many unanswered questions as she struggles to unravel the clues before the killer strikes again.

TIES THAT BIND is a dark and provoking tale of suspense. That said, it was a huge disappointment for me. Too many loose threads were overshadowed by personal politics as the reader is bombarded with negative views of Mormonism. Samantha's actions are ruled by her hatred of these politics, and of God. We really don't get a chance to know Samantha or the other characters. TIES THAT BIND is a page turner, but for all the wrong reasons.

Diana Risso