Gwyn Weaver is as resilient as anyone could be. Having survived an attempted murder, she has rebuilt her life and reclaimed her dignity and strength. She’s always known about her feelings for defence attorney Thomas Thorne, but as her friend and a colleague there could be no chance of anything more… or could there?
Thorne has known violence and pain all his life. He’s overcome the hardships that have been thrown at him thanks to his own steel, and the love of his loyal friends. Now he’s thinking it might finally be time to let his guard down, and allow himself to let in the woman he’s always admired from afar.
Then Thorne’s whole world is torn apart — he is found unconscious in his own bed, the lifeless body of a stranger lying next to him, her blood on his hands. Knowing Thorne could never have committed such a terrible crime, Gwyn and his friends rally round to clear his name.
Death is Not Enough is the sixth book in the Baltimore series and it concentrates on the relationship between Gwyn Weaver and defence attorney, Thomas Thorne, who were introduced in You Belong to Me, the first book of the series focusing on Lucy Trask and JD Fitzgerald. As well as having a day job, Gwyn, Thorne and Lucy are close friends and business partners in a club where they sometimes perform. Death is Not Enough takes place about four years after the first book, and as with the rest of Karen Rose’s books, it is important you read them in order to understand the background on the characters. In You Belong to Me, Gwyn was seriously assaulted by the killer who was after Lucy and has spent the past four years trying to find herself again while Thorne waited patiently in the wings.
Tall, dark and handsome, Thorne has been an enigmatic character since the start of the series and many of our law enforcement characters have had a hard time trusting him which has just added to the mystery. Thorne has helped our intrepid heroes over the past few books, however his involvement in Monster in the Closet has put him firmly in the crosshairs of a ruthless criminal who blames Thorne for the death of his son. The book is chock full of characters who will be familiar to you if you have read Rose’s other books but things get a bit complicated by the introduction of less familiar characters and I did struggle at one point placing everybody. The characters who have appeared in the previous Baltimore books are present, most of our couples are now married with children, but they never seem to get a break from the constant danger and it’s getting a bit ridiculous the number of times certain characters have been shot.
Thorne has to learn to rely on these people who consider him part of their family, even if he doesn’t, and we start to learn about his childhood and how he came to be living with the two men he considers his fathers. Rose had definitely ramped up the diversity level in her books as we are increasingly introduced to gay characters, none of whom have appeared as main protagonists yet, and other characters with varying types of disabilities. The villains were interesting and suitably bloodthirsty, although it was easy to work out which ones had been carefully placed as spies amongst our heroes. Rose seems increasingly determined to ensure her characters from previous books get a role in the sequels but she is overdoing it now and I really think she needs to allow the main protagonists more room to breathe. Also, I miss the whole build up to the relationship as most of her recent romances have centred around people who already know each other and are part of their main circle.
The plot is as convoluted as ever and we know the main villain from the outset but things are never that simple in a Karen Rose book as there are other killers lurking relating to a twenty year old mystery. I feel the Baltimore series has been dragged out too long now so I’m glad we are moving to a new city soon with hopefully less characters and a return to the more criminal element.