Past Purgatory

Bishop Security

Romance - Suspense
348 Pages
Reviewed on 07/16/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

In Past Purgatory by Debbie Baldwin, Finn McIntyre is grappling with inner turmoil and painful scars, both physical and emotional, from a life marked by trauma and clandestine Navy SEAL and CIA operations. Leaving behind a strained relationship with Bishop Security expert Charlotte 'Twitch' Devlin, Finn ends up in the community of Purgatory, West Virginia. There he takes up a home renovation project that unexpectedly begins his journey toward healing. Meanwhile, Twitch faces her own personal and professional obstacles; a series of crimes related to a past hacker competition she won, the unsettling belief she's being stalked, and a deep maternal instinct to safeguard Finn's child. As these issues mount there is a very real possibility that she will need to seek Finn's help and risk further heartbreak. Then there is Detective Aiden McIntyre in Philadelphia probing a peculiar murder that hitches itself to another case in Florida.

Debbie Baldwin's fourth installment in the Bishop Security series, Past Purgatory, is a really well-written read that weaves together elements of suspense, mystery, and romance. Baldwin's characterization of Finn as a complex and layered character haunted by his past and struggling with his inner demons feels authentic. I do think that the whole 'protagonist is/was a Navy SEAL' has been recycled so many times it's become a trope, but I was able to look beyond it because of Twitch. I love a good, strong, resilient personality and she does complement Finn's character. Her intelligence and street smarts in terrifying circumstances make her an exceptional female lead. And can we talk about Purgatory and how badly I want to be there? Small-town quirks and supportive community vibes galore! The whole place adds layer upon layer of warmth and charm. Past Purgatory reads perfectly well as a stand-alone but for me, it definitely served as an enticement to go back for the entire series. Recommended.