Anything for You by Saul Black, 3.5 Stars

We all have a past, right? Well, I’m pretty sure that some people have more of a past than others. And in many ways, those pasts can be tragic or shocking. But no matter what, the things we live through shape us as people for better or worse.

Anything for You was my first book by Saul Black. And of course I did it again–I got sucked into series fiction by accident. But while I haven’t read Black’s other novels, I did like his main character, Valerie Hart. She’s got a past and baggage, just like every other series detective, but she seems a little different. Fresh somehow.

And the book didn’t actually read completely like series fiction. It seemed a little extra. So many I’ll give another one in the series a shot.

From the Publisher:

On a hot summer night, a watchful neighbor locks eyes with an intruder and unwittingly alerts the police to a vicious crime scene next door: a lavish master bedroom where a man lies dead. Next to him, his wife is bleeding out onto the hardwood floor, clinging to life.

The victim, Adam Grant, was a well-known San Francisco prosecutor—a man whose connection to Homicide detective Valerie Hart brings her face-to-face with a life she’s long since left behind. Adam’s career made him an easy target, and forensic evidence points towards an ex-con he put behind bars years ago. But while Adam’s wife and daughter grapple with their tragic loss, Valerie uncovers devastating clues that point in a more ominous direction. Lurking in the shadows of the Grants’ pristine life is a mysterious blonde who holds the key to a very different—and much darker—story.

As Valerie struggles to forge a new path for herself, the investigation forces her to confront the question: can we ever really leave our pasts behind?

Sophisticated and stunning, Anything for You is an unforgettable thriller that will grip readers long after turning the last page.

My Review:

Just like any good series crime novel, the books starts with a shocking murder. The police come to investigate and while we think we know what the situation is, it quickly changes. Because everyone has a past or secrets they keep. And often times, just as in real life, someone does not just get murdered. Without there being something sinister lurking just below the surface.

Anything for You starts out with different scenes from crimes that I found a hard time piecing together at first. And even when I started to understand the connection, Black kept me guessing for a long time on how any of these things were connected.

I’ve noticed in some reviews that readers found the novel to be too sexual and I do agree that some of the sex scenes or details put in there were slightly gratuitous, but to each his own, right? And there really weren’t that many of them. They just stood out.

Sex scenes aside, the story was fairly standard issue for me throughout the first half. But during the second half, the tone of the novel changed for me and that’s when I started to connect more with the characters. And once I was invested in the characters, things really started to get interesting for me and the pages started turning faster and faster.

In conclusion, I do think Saul Black’s crime series is extra. Thing Karen Slaughter, one of my favorite crime fiction writers. She still writes series fiction for the most part, but the details and characters are a notch above. Or maybe several notches above, she is really at the top of her game. I’d have to read a bit more of Black’s work before I could make an apples to apples comparison.

Special thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advanced e-galley in exchange for my honest review. This one is out November 5, 2019. Pre-order your copy!


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