In our reviews, the library staff often mentions the variety of formats we have for various titles. For example, “BREAKER’s REEF” by TERRI BLACKSTOCK can be borrowed as a regular print book, a large-print book, an e-book or even an e-audiobook. If you choose e-book or e-audio, you can get it using the Hoopla app or from our MissouriLibraires2Go (Overdrive) collection.
There are two apps for Overdrive: Overdrive and Libby. The Libby app was recently updated to improve how you manage your downloads and to be compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Even though I don’t often use e-books and e-audio (I like print!), I decided to try it.
I updated my Libby app, and when it opened, I chose Library. Next, I chose Explore, What’s Available. Then I selected Audiobooks. “Breaker’s Reef” was on the list, and the download took less than a minute. To listen in the car after the phone connected to the car, I just opened the app and started the book, and I’m happy to say, it worked seamlessly (Disclaimer: I did recently upgrade my phone and vehicle).
I chose “Breaker’s Reef” just to try the updated app, but my attention was caught in the first couple of paragraphs. By the time I got home, I was hooked. The book, I learned, was the fourth book in the “Cape Refuge” series.
Matthew Cade, Cape Refuge’s police chief, is awakened in the early hours by a phone call. A dead teenage girl has been found floating in a rowboat on the river. The case is being handled by the police in Tybee, the neighboring town where the body was pulled ashore, but the victim, Emily Lawrence, is from Cape Refuge.
The police officer who discovered the body is also from Cape Refuge. Scott Crown is a young rookie who made the mistake of going outside his jurisdiction and pulling the body from the boat, washing away key evidence. Both departments and the state police team up to investigate.
As law enforcement works to find the killer, the local newspaper is also trying to piece together the story.
The owner of the paper, Blair, and her young assistant, Sadie, are talking and listening to Emily’s classmates. The first break in the case, however, comes from Sadie’s mother, Sheila.
Sheila spent a year in prison and has finally landed her first job since being released — typing for author Marcus Gibson. She finds Gibson strange. He writes novels about killers, and he puts himself in the lives of his characters. He will sleep in the woods, swim fully clothed in the river, and hang out with criminals and addicts.
Part of her job is putting Gibson’s early novels into digital format. In doing so, Sheila realizes that the murder in the first novel is eerily similar to the way Emily died. She takes her discovery to the police.
As law enforcement works to build a case against Gibson, Cade and Blair discover another victim. Jamie Maddox came to Cape Refuge with her best friend, Amelia. Amelia came looking for her birth mother, Sheila.
Now Jamie is dead, shot with the same caliber weapon as Emily, and Amelia is missing.
The evidence points to Gibson, but he has been under surveillance. Then Jamie’s missing sandal and blood are discovered in Cade’s truck. Is there more than one killer? And how is Sheila involved? The case has gone from one suspect to more than one. To complicate things further, once Sadie finds out she has a sister, she is determined to find Amelia, putting herself in harm’s way.
Even though I had not read the first three books, I quickly got into the rhythm of the series. The characters are likable, and the story builds to a suspenseful climax. This novel is in the genre of inspirational suspense, so the faith and struggles of the characters is a central theme. However, it is the search for the killer that keeps you guessing and propels this story forward.
If you’re interested and want to know how to get started or need help using Overdrive and/or Hoopla, just call or come to the reference service desk at the library. We are happy to help.
Patty Crane is the reference librarian for the Joplin Public Library.