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My review of ATONEMENT

I’m a fan of Winter’s, not a secret and I ah-dored her Degrees of Darkness series. I waited for this book on baited breath, hoping it was Heath’s story. It’s not. But my disappointment was short-lived. This story and these characters are powerful.


Atone for your sins . . .

A rash of unexplained suicides in the sleepy town of Eider, Iowa, draws McIntire County deputy Nicolette Rivers into a devious killer's twisted plot. A former marine sniper suffering from PTSD, Nic hides her own deadly secrets, and The Priest will do anything to expose it and her.

For redemption is at hand . . .

Eider police detective Con O'Hanlon is assigned to help Nic uncover the truth behind the suicides. She rebuffs his help at every turn, but the stubborn Irishman holds on. When tragedy strikes, Con helps cover up the fallout, but is he too late to prevent Nic's dark, downward spiral? Or is Con the one man stronger than her demons?

Sensuality Level: Behind Closed Doors

Available at Amazon.com http://amzn.com/B00WN6QHCE


ATONEMENT opens with a hostage situation. Nicole, a former marine sniper, the corps first female sniper in fact, is a small town deputy looking to simultaneously heal and hide from trauma Winter makes us wait to know. She’s drawing a bead on the husband threatening to kill his wife and children while battling her personal demons. The county detective called in later to investigate the Sheriff department’s handling of the crisis, Con, is Nic’s neighbor and a would-be suitor she’s rebuffed and stood up.

Things in this quiet town quickly escalate and with it Nic’s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. As the town becomes fractured by tragedy, a madman sets his sights on the decompensating Nic while she and Con grow closer, emotionally, professionally and, yes, physically.

Winter’s books are always clean: the sex is delicately handled and cursing is left to a minimum. But she doesn’t skimp on emotionally charged interactions between her complicated, varied characters. My eleven year old could read this, but I’m not sure she would understand the full range of pain these people suffer, endure and overcome. All while chasing a killer.

I admit, I figured out the who-done-it fairly early. But I’ve got a knack for that my husband finds annoying. It’s the rare book, movie or tv show that can a-ha me. In my opinion, most readers will be gasping when the bad guy/gal is revealed. Wrapping layered characters into a satisfying romance and still maintaining nail-biting suspense while creating a well-crafted mystery is Winter’s greatest skill. Fans of the DOD series will love this. As will readers new to Winter's work.

An excellent 5 star outing from Winter Austin.

Pick up your copy of ATONEMENT at Amazon http://amzn.com/B00WN6QHCE


  1. Becky, I always love getting reviews from you. Sorry I couldn't give you Heath yet, but he's coming one day.

    1. No apologies necessary Nic & Con were a great read!


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