Review of Danielle Girard’s Latest Novel, Expire

The focus of my blog is to review book series and not individual novels. But writers are going to continue writing novels within a series even after I have done my review, so I plan on reviewing the individual novels as they come into circulation.  Danielle Girard will soon release book #4, Expire, to the Dr. Schwartzman series.

Danielle Girard’s previous book in the Dr. Schwartzman series, Expose, ended in an explosive cliff-hanger. So if you haven’t read Expose, stop right here and read it, because it is significant in getting a better appreciation of Expire. With that being said, the ending of Expose left us with the knowledge that medical examiner Annabelle Schwartzman has been kidnapped with the assumption that her psychopathic ex-husband, Spencer MacDonald, is the kidnapper. Schwartzman’s love interest, detective Hal Harris, assumes that as well, and is hell-bent on getting MacDonald to lead him to where he is hiding her. But MacDonald is a master of deceit and puts up roadblocks for every step that Harris takes.

The theme throughout the series has revolved around Schwartzman’s dysfunctional relationship with her abusive ex-husband, Spencer, and trying to convince everyone around her that Spencer is psychopathic and dangerous. It has been difficult for her, as Spencer is wealthy, outwardly charming, and has an outstanding reputation among those that know him. Even Schwartzman’s mother sees Spencer in a positive light and believes that her daughter is making mountains out of mole hills when it comes to dealing with her ex-husband. The one person that does believe her is homicide detective Hal Harris whose relationship with Schwartzman has been developing throughout the series and finally comes to fruition at the ending of Expose. Harris, who is very aware of Spencer’s dark side, knows that it was him that kidnapped Schwartzman. Or was it?

For the most part, I felt that Expire was predictable and moved rather slowly. Harris is desperately doing everything to find Schwartzman whereas Schwartzman is having to deal with her captivity. One of Schwartzman’s hurdles during her imprisonment is getting enough fresh water that is not drugged. The first couple of chapters that dealt with this predicament was interesting but by the third and fourth chapter with her trying come up with new methods to get fresh water got really old. Worrying about Schwartzman getting dehydrated didn’t quite have that ‘on the edge of your seat’ thrill to it. Even though Expire did move at glacial speeds it did have an exciting ending which makes it a worthwhile read especially for those that have been following the series.

I would like to thank NetGalley for my copy of Expire.

To learn more about the series check out the The Dr. Schwartzman series.

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