Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Just because there had not been any violence did not mean people would not get scars.”
I really loved this story! My first experience of a Luna Miller book will certainly not be forgotten in a hurry – it had those cliff hangers every crime lover craves and a whole cast of characters you just love right from page 1! Because You’re Mine is book two in this series, but I thoroughly enjoyed it as a standalone novel. Very happy to be sharing my review today on the blog tour. Make sure you check out the reviews from all these other fantastic book bloggers!
Gunvor Ström, a Swedish surgeon who had to retire because her hands weren’t steady enough to perform operations, accepts a position as a private detective and enters a new and surprisingly dangerous career.
In Because You’re Mine, she accepts her second assignment. Is it always for the best to look for a missing person? Gunvor is not entirely sure as she believes there are those who don’t want to be found. Despite this, she takes on a case. A wife needs help to find her husband, Per Cedergren. A simple case at first glance. Gunvor is convinced that he has sneaked off on an adventure with a mistress and soon will return voluntarily.
Gunvor’s good friend Aidan also makes his debut as a private detective when he helps a new acquaintance look for her missing friend.
When Gunvor and Aidan take the help of their young friends, Elin and David, the two parallel cases meander closer each other. But how do they relate? And what do the disappearances have in common with the murders that at first glance appear to be hate crimes?
Soon they find themselves in the eye of the storm, not knowing where the danger lurks.
If you want an opening that grips you instantly, then this is the book to read! I very rarely say I’m “hooked” from page one, but this was certainly one of those rare times. The opening chapter is filled with hope for the character we follow, but it’s also full of mystery and intrigue, and I was desperate to know exactly what turned this character’s life upside down. Even though this is book two in the Gunvor Ström series, I didn’t feel like I was missing any information from book one, and it was very easy to get acquainted with all the fantastic characters his book holds. When Aidan discusses a potential missing person with a worried woman in a gay bar, Aidan takes it upon himself to help her. Would this be the start of a whole new case and would we see Gunvor in all her glory? I was particularly excited to see exactly what this character was capable of, and I already wanted to read book one of this series desperately! A fantastic start and I just knew this was only going to get better.
The author has such a unique, clever way of making you emotionally invested in the characters she’s created, which was particularly evident with fresh couple, Drew and Morgan. With Morgan suffering a lot of bad luck since they said their goodbyes after spending the night with one another, I found myself feeling for Drew and desperate to solve the mystery of what happened to Morgan and the missing person alongside these characters. The pace is perfect and the author’s tone is consistently so satisfying to read, forcing me to lose track of time as I raced from one chapter to the next! When we do finally meet Gunvor Ström in this book, I instantly loved her – she was a fantastic character with equal amounts of passion and charm that would make any reader keen to follow her journey! I liked the how the author touches on the previous book’s plot to keep readers up to date, and I really appreciated this having not read book one before this one.
“Tearing stabs came in rapid succession, one after another. Unbearable pain. He wanted to scream. To make it stop. He was supposed to go to London. He had just met the love of his life, for God’s sake. But he couldn’t make a sound, and he couldn’t make it stop.”
The perspectives of Aidan and Gunvor alternate throughout the story, and I really thought this had been perfected. Hearing about Gunvor’s first proper case in the story really got me thinking, and this coupled with Aidan’s own missing person case made for some very intense reading! I was keen for both of these cases to be solved, but somehow, I felt they were linked in some way. Could one singular person be responsible for them being missing, and also responsible for what happened to Morgan? Already, I was building up my own theories in my mind about what would have happened to these characters, wondering what the link could be. The author is very skilled at pulling the reader into an investigation, almost making them a crucial part in solving these cases. I could already tell we were going to experience so much in this book, and I was already completely invested! I continued to love Gunvor’s approach to her work and just knew her thoroughness would serve her well.
Gunvor’s case allowed her to travel in order to try and find out more information about this missing person. Seeing her in her role was great to experience, and you can just tell this line of work is what she’s meant to do, even though it’s sad how she can no longer be a surgeon like she once was. Chats with people who knew this person all added to the bank of information we’d use later down the line, and as the leads kept coming, the more excited I became to find out more! I loved each part of this investigation so far, and the start of the book was incredibly strong. Even though Gunvor suspects this missing guy is away with a mistress somewhere, I could just tell it was potentially much deeper and darker than she thought. I couldn’t wait to get stuck into the case with Gunvor and see what we could uncover, and also find out more about what happened to poor Morgan. I couldn’t fault any of this story so far, and it seemed to have everything I love and more from a crime/mystery book!
As well as the story about the missing people, the author also explores Aidan’s feelings about Marie. The time he spends with her as he helps her find her missing friend forces his feelings for her to grow stronger – was getting involved with someone this way such a good idea? I liked how this was included as perhaps some kind of breather from the main story and it worked really well in breaking up scenes about the investigation. Finding more clues and talking to new people who knew Marie’s friend was really exciting, and the cliff hangers at the end of certain chapters were really quite thrilling! The story is continuously easy to follow, yet so in depth for a reader to really get their teeth into. We also hear the odd chapter from the perspective of a range of victims too which I really loved. Reading about the attacks happening was short and sweet, but we can feel the terror in each victim in such a subtle way which was written incredibly well. It made the number of disappearances stand out so well!
After hearing about Elin and David’s experience in book one, I was glad they played a big part in this book too, getting stuck into helping with the case when Gunvor needed their assistance. This combined with Aidan’s discovery that Morgan had been murdered created such an intense atmosphere in the book – the pace was getting quicker as the characters uncover new information, and I was more desperate than ever to find out who was behind it all! The author has seamlessly connected so many things together, creating scenes with different characters that all added to the bigger picture. Everything from dialogue and how characters interact with one another to description and clues/leads enabling us to work with these characters, I feel the author has perfected everything that fans of crime/mystery look for. The first half of the book already had my eyes glued to the pages, and I just knew the rest of the book would be just as gripping!
“You can go about your life, happy, dancing and drinking with your friends and the next day – dead.”
With Gunvor, Aidan, Elin and David agreeing to all work together on the investigations, the excitement just continues to build. It seemed as though the group were getting a little closer to finding out the truth about what happened to these people and why they were targets, and it was even more intriguing hearing how these disappearances could all be linked in some way. The author cleverly involved the reader in each scene, no matter which character we’re focusing on at any one time, and the whole journey just captivates every part of you. I found David to be a very interesting character the more we get to know him, and reading about his past made me feel like I needed to keep an eye on him for some reason. As Gunvor and the team “interview” those who may potentially have further information about the disappearances, we learn so much about these missing people which enables us to build up our own theories in our minds. I felt like I knew those missing characters much better at this part of the story.
Elin and David going undercover in a bar was one of my favourite chapters – the intense feeling of what would happen if their cover was blown was constantly in the back of my mind, but even so, the characters had fun with this set up, and the way the whole thing had been executed was written particularly well. The author also drops an absolute bombshell in this chapter which not only unhinged my jaw with shock, but was something that could potentially change the outcome of the story dramatically. Things were certainly heating up and I could feel that we were very close to finding out the truth! I was so so excited for the ending of the book and to see exactly who was being truthful and if there was anyone who was withholding information. At this point, I had no clue where things would go – the author’s talent continues to keep readers guessing and completely invested in the characters’ journey! I was expecting a killer ending, and I knew we wouldn’t be disappointed.
It was at this point where my views changed a little and I found myself keeping an eye on Marie – there was something we weren’t being told and I felt like I had to go through each character to see who was leading us astray! I had the impression that someone we’d met along the way knew something, something so significant. With one of the team’s missing people returning without any indication why or how, I became really suspicious, and so did Gunvor. Something wasn’t right and she was determined to find out what it was! I really admired Gunvor so much, but even more so at this stage. I needed those answers! One character we meet as everything comes together, Annika, is particularly interesting, and the detail from the author really helps everything come together. The way certain details slot together effortlessly just proves how much has gone into writing this book and ensuring things work exceptionally well.
The pace quickens near the ending of the book which I loved, and time was ticking as some pretty intense scenes are near. The author has done a perfect job of building up suspense, forcing you to read faster to find out what happens! All the characters really shine at this part of the story and I don’t think the effect would be the same without each and every one of them. More news hits the headlines about another shocking death, but just where did this fit into the investigation? Just when we think things are tying up, we’re hit with another piece of news, another problem to solve that I just had to know the outcome of. The author continues to impress until those final pages, keeping you fully involved in the characters’ work and forcing you to use your imagination to try and solve the case.
“We’re hard-wired to strive for love, safety, adventure, the feeling of belonging, feelings of accomplishment, and so on, and so on. Even if it doesn’t matter in the greater scheme, it’s always nice to find something or someone who gives you those feelings. To make you feel whole if only for a brief moment.”
Hearing the change of perspective from Gunvor and her team to those being investigated was a brilliant touch, and really succeeded in holding my attention throughout the ending. The author incorporates some dark scenes in the book here, some incredibly shocking, which made me run back through the other scenes of the book in my mind to see if there was anything I may have missed before! Some characters turn out to be a little sneaky and not who we first think they are, so make sure you keep an eye on everyone you meet in this book! The enjoyment factor throughout this ending just seemed to escalate, with the author throwing in multiple surprises to really bring out the best in the whole plot.
The final few pages were so nail biting and were by far my favourites in the whole book. The author has well and truly pulled out all the stops for an unforgettable ending, and even after finishing the book, I can’t stop thinking about what I’ve read! Gunvor and her team seem to be some of the best investigators I’ve met in a book, and how they all work together was so admirable. It’s clear things aren’t over with what we witness in this book, and I’d love for this journey to continue. I still have a few questions I’d love to be answered! With such a magnificent ending like this one, I’m desperate to read another book in this series and I’m confident another Gunvor Ström novel would be just as good as this one. A fantastic reading experience from beginning to end and I’ll certainly be recommending!
This book exceeded all my expectations – it was so much more gripping and involving than I expected and I didn’t want it to end! Miller has created such a bright cast of characters who work so well together and a clever plot that will have you racing through each chapter. The book is very easy to read and it was always a pleasure to pick this book up each reading session and jump back into the mystery. A definite recommendation for crime/mystery lovers and it’s highly deserving of five stars. Can’t wait to read more in the Gunvor Ström series!
A huge thanks to the author, Luna Miller, and Emma at Damp Pebbles for my copy of the book and place on the blog tour! You can purchase your own copy of Because You’re Mine over on Amazon, available on Kindle and in paperback. Make sure you’re following the author over on Twitter for more updates!