Dead Heat is a fast paced and exciting romantic suspense novel, with rather more suspense than romance. I found this book hard to put down.
Jo Lockwood loves her job as a National Parks ranger in the north west of New South Wales. She loves the country side, the wildlife, and she enjoys being on her own for much of the time.
That all changes the day she finds a park site has been vandalised. As she sets about clearing up and repairing as much damage as possible, a dingo emerges from the bush. In its mouth it carries bloodied human hand. Full of horror she searches the nearby bush and discovers the body of a young man who has been tortured and murdered.
Detective Nick Matheson is assigned to the case. He has recently been posted to this normally peaceful, low crime area, in order to resume an uneventful life after ten years as an undercover cop. He finds Jo a reliable and observant witness, outwardly calm, although in a state of shocked by the grisly discovery.
As the investigation proceeds it is discovered that this quiet area has become a site for organised crime, with drugs, police corruption, gang activity, illegal weapons, and more murders piling up.
Jo is the only person who has seen the face of the killer, a ruthless man without respect for human life, and she becomes a target for his assassination. Each with their own painful histories, Jo and Nick must work together if she is to survive.
Nick vows that he will do anything to keep Jo safe, and the tension mounts as they become targets for a sniper, while trying to evade gang members chasing them through dense countryside and outrun a bushfire.
Along the way they both discover that their feelings have become much more than the admiration they initially felt for each other.
Bronwyn Parry has penned a story with many twists that will keep you turning the pages to the end.