Title: Bad Habits
Author: Sarah Evans
Publisher: Clan Destine Press
Published: 1st December 2021
Synopsis: Who the hell is trying to kill Perth cop, Eve Rock, this time?
Bad Habits – the long-awaited sequel to Sarah Evans’
rom-com-crime novel, Operation Paradise, is here.
A freezer full of body parts is the tip of the criminal iceberg for intrepid Western Australian Detective Inspector Eve Rock.
Butchered bodies and their questionable use; a murdered man in a skip; a brazen multi-million-dollar haul from a safety deposit facility; thefts from a high-end jewellers and art galleries…
All in day’s work for Eve and her team.
The festive season has spawned a spate of bizarre crimes which, at least, reassures Eve that others’ bad habits far exceed her own. It also gives her a watertight excuse to avoid her dysfunctional family, and to spend time with her two gorgeous colleagues and would-be lovers, Quinn Fox and his son Adam. A win-win situation.
Eve usually relishes solving crimes, but she’s less keen when she’s the target and the boundaries between work and home become nastily blurred.
- Who are the strange people wandering around her digs late at night?
- Why is her mum the nun acting more weird than usual?
- Why is she such a pushover when it comes to the men in her life?
When Eve’s Christmas is disrupted with a dead body in her skip, murdered in a very unusual way, Eve relishes the chance to head off from her family festivities. But as Eve starts to investigate, she soon finds that some of what she is looking into – the crimes, and the bad habits, are hitting way too close to home at St Immaculata’s, where she lives with her daughter and mother, who is a nun. But what sinister acts are going on, and who wants to frame and harm Eve? When things get too dangerous, Eve has to use all her wits to uncover the person who is really behind the crimes she’s investigating and accused of.
The second book in the Eve Rock series follows on from the first book, which I haven’t read yet, but was able to understand what was going on in this book. It’s possible that some things are explained in that book, or the explanations are yet to come, and I think Sarah dealt with this aspect well – she referred to what she needed to and held back on what she needed to. So she could focus on the current story, which is Christmas-adjacent – it takes place during the festive season, but isn’t wholly focused on that aspect – it simmers in the background as Eve, her friends and colleagues try to find out who is behind the bizarre crimes and who is trying to get Eve out the way and why – which leads to a thrilling conclusion that wraps the story up nicely, and allows us to explore a dingy world riddled with crime as Eve seeks to make changes and come to terms with who she is and what she contends with every day.
As it’s the second book in the series, part of me wishes I had read the first book as I did feel I was missing some bits of Eve’s backstory, yet I could follow the main plot, and for me, when reading a series out of order, that is the main thing that I like to look for. It allows readers to pick up a book, and go back when they find out it is part of a series, and one day I might do that with this book – I’ve got a lot to get through and keep on top of so hopefully I will be able to do that in the next few weeks. Even though this is blurbed as a crime rom-com, I loved that the focus was on the crime with the rom-com aspect bubbling along in the background. This allowed the characters to grow and be who they are whilst telling a good, engaging story that will appeal to readers who might not like the entire story to be about the romance, but also gives enough of the romance to keep romance readers interested too – it can and I hope will, capture readers of all kinds.
I really enjoyed this book, and look forward to reading more different crime stories, as it is a genre I really enjoy.