Monday, February 11, 2019

Review - Dead Girl Running

Title:   Dead Girl Running
Author:  Christina Dodd
Series:  Cape Charade #1
Genre:   Mystery/Thrillers
Publisher:   HQN Books
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages:  368
Date of Publication:  April 24, 2018
My Rating:  5 Stars


I have three confessions to make:
1. I've got the scar of gunshot on my forehead.
2. I don't remember an entire year of my life.
3. My name is Kellen Adams...and that's half a lie.

Girl running...from a year she can't remember, from a husband she prays is dead, from homelessness and fear. Tough, capable Kellen Adams takes a job as assistant manager of a remote vacation resort on the North Pacific Coast. There amid the towering storms and the lashing waves, she hopes to find sanctuary. But when she discovers a woman's dead and mutilated body, she's soon trying to keep her own secrets while investigating first one murder...then another. 

Now every guest and employee is a suspect. Every friendly face a mask. Every kind word a lie. Kellen's driven to defend her job, her friends and the place she's come to call home. Yet she wonders--with the scar of a gunshot on her forehead and amnesia that leaves her unsure of her own past--could the killer be staring her in the face?


Dead Girl Running is the first book in the Cape Charade series. As the blurb shows, there are three confessions that Kellen Adams makes, she has a gunshot scar, lost memory to a year and her life, and that only part of her name is the truth. These are critical facts and help to set up the story that continues after the prequel, Hard to Kill

The title is apropos as Kellen is indeed running, she is running from a brutally abusive husband that vowed to kill her. She was in the service, homeless and more. Now she has a fantastic job at the Yearning Sands Resort. That is, however, until she learns that the owners have gone on vacation and left her in charge. She was hired as the manager, now she is also the head of security. When part of a woman's dismembered body is discovered and any serenity Kellen thought she had is gone.

Although Kellen had lost part of her memory, there is the rest of her life to consider. Kellen is living a lie and it is imperative that no one find out her true identity and what she has done over the years. Can she solve the murder and keep the staff and guests at the hotel safe, all the while keeping her past a secret?

Kellen has developed a certain quirk, she catalogs everyone, to the point of determining whether or not they are friend, foe. Also, Kellen has never felt safe after the trauma that caused her to choose to live a lie, so with the goings on at the resort, she never feels safe. Could she herself still be in danger?

I will admit now that I have read each book published to-date, so I know what has happened to Kellen thus far. This is mentioned as readers were left with a cliffhanger with the prequel, so the danger began on page one. This continued without letup, with twists and turns and a lot of red herrings until the murderer was revealed. Although that did eventually happen, things did not settle for Kellen, thus another cliffhanger no doubt left readers reeling. I personally could not have been more shocked.

This thrilling read is definitely part of an amazing series, Cape Charade, one that I read until there were no more offerings available! Now I am forced to wait. The next books in the series are Families and Other Enemies and What Doesn't Kill Her (available now), and Hidden Truths and Strangers She Knows, both set for release later in 2019.  


Readers become writers, and Christina Dodd has always been a reader. She reads everything, but because she loves humor, she likes romance best.

A woman wants things like world peace, a clean house, and a deep and meaningful relationship based on mutual understanding and love. A man wants things like a Craftsman router with attachments, undisputed control of the TV remote, and a red Corvette which will miraculously make his bald spot disappear. So when Christina’s first daughter was born, she told her husband she was going to quit work and write a book. It was a good time to start a new career, because how much trouble could one little infant be?

Ha! It took ten years, two children and three completed manuscripts before her first novel, CANDLE IN THE WINDOW, was published. In the twenty-six years since, her novels have been translated into 25 languages, won Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart and RITA Awards and been called the year’s best by Library Journal and Booklist. Christina Dodd herself has been a clue in the Los Angeles Times crossword puzzle (11/18/05, # 13 Down: Romance Novelist named Christina.) Her mother was thrilled! With more than 15 million of her books in print, Booklist praises her, “brilliantly etched characters, polished writing, and unexpected flashes of sharp humor that are pure Dodd.”

In 2018, Christina began her Virtue Falls spin-off suspense series, Cape Charade, with DEAD GIRL RUNNING, out now. The first lines are:

I have three confessions:

I’ve got the scar of a gunshot on my forehead.
I don’t remember an entire year of my life.
My name is Kellen Adams … and that’s half a lie.

Listen to a free DEAD GIRL RUNNING audio book chapter and read an excerpt here. Booklist, says, “Dodd is at her most wildly entertaining, wickedly witty best.”  

Out now, the short story, HARD TO KILL, introduces you to Kellen Adams, and on January 29, 2018, WHAT DOESN’T KILL HER (had better start running) continues Kellen’s adventures.

Christina Dodd is married to a man with all his hair and no Corvette, but many Craftsman tools. They have been married since the earth’s crust cooled.


  1. Sounds like a good one and a 5 star read too.
    Gemma @

  2. Like the looks of this - well done!

  3. I'd not heard of the book until now. I do like the sound of it. Great review.