The Big Keep (Lena Dane Mysteries #1) by Melissa F. Olson 4 Stars

Lena Dane is a private investigator, who finds out she’s pregnant, right around the same time she agrees to take on a case from a 14 year old boy looking for his biological father. It’s not a dangerous case, so there is no reason she shouldn’t take it. Right?

I really liked this book, but action wise it has a bit of a slow start, but it picks up about half-way through, enough so that I didn’t want to put it down. I’ve read the author’s Scarlett Bernard series, which has a paranormal aspect, and really enjoyed those books, which is what made me pick this one up. The writing is just as good and definitely worth reading.

As Lena gets further into the case of Nate’s missing father, she realizes there is more to this case than either of them thought. It isn’t just a simple case of finding Nate’s missing father. While investigating, she ruffles a few feathers, and puts herself and her unborn baby in danger as she tries to piece the puzzle together.

It was refreshing to read a book where the lead character is already in a relationship with the love of her life. There is no gushing, or agonizing triangle stuff. Of course they have their moments where things aren’t going so well, and there is a little bit of drama, but the story isn’t centered around the relationship.

The relationship dynamic is really between Lena and Nate, her 14 year old client. Nate’s mother died years ago and his step-father is dying of cancer. So Lena takes him under her wing and kind of becomes like an older sister. She wants to find his father desperately. If she doesn’t he’ll probably be put into foster care, and she can’t bear to see that happen. Which is why she doesn’t give up the case, even when it’s not safe anymore and even when her husband asks her to drop it.

While trying to solve the case, Lena goes through a lot of self doubt regarding the pregnancy. Would she have to change who she is? Get a different job? Or be a stay home mom? She spends a lot of time in denial about the pregnancy. Not that she doesn’t want a baby eventually, but the anxiety and inadequacy a woman feels when she finds out she’s going to be bringing a child into this world is legitimate. Why would she want to bring a child, a child she knows she can’t keep 100% safe, into this world? Especially given her career choice, which she is not ready to give up.

The book didn’t end the way I expected as far as the killer was concerned, which is good since I like a surprise.

I definitely recommend it and I hope there will be more books in the Lena Dane series.

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