Lucy Trask is a medical examiner - and now the target of a serial killer, who is leaving his victims for her to find. There is obviously a connection between the victims and Lucy's own past, but Lucy has spent most of her life running from her past, and can't think what she might have done to upset a vicious murderer so much. Detective JD Fitzpatrick is on the case, and there is an immediate spark between him and Lucy. Together they try to find out who hates Lucy enough to make her the centrepiece of his evil plans.
"You Belong To Me" is another efficient offering from Karen Rose, once again hampered by overlength, eye-rolling romantic cliches and - this time - a definite feeling of de ja vu. It's established fairly early on that the killer is seeking vengeance over the rape and murder of his sister, with the mystery lying around Lucy's possible connection to the crime. Although Rose's novels tend to blend in to one another, I'm pretty certain the rape-and-revenge angle made up a large part of "Scream For Me". In any case, there was a real sense of been-here-before hanging over the proceedings. There is initially some intrigue over a subplot involving private detective Clay Maynard chasing down a client he had helped fake his death, who now appears to have been lying wildly about his reasons for wanting to fake said death - but the link between this plotline and the main plotline is revealed fairly quickly. Once that happens, there doesn't seem to be much point for Clay to hang around, but he remains present for much of the novel. Unfortunately, you really could cut Clay from the novel entirely and hardly effect the novel at all. Not a good sign.
Rose's attempts at romantic angst are beginning to get quite desperate also. Lucy feels responsible for the death of her fiance, whilst JD feels responsible for the death of his first wife. He even says at one point: "I killed her!" and then fails to elaborate any further. Is this a homicide detective or a theatre actor? The romantic aspect actually feels toned down compared to other Rose novels, but Lucy and JD behave like such juvenile buffoons it becomes really distracting. All I kept thinking throughout the book was - "Grow up!"
As far as romantic suspense authors go, I'd say Rose is one of the best. There is real promise here for the author to break out from the rigid genre formula and deliver something truly memorable. "Silent Scream" showed signs of that. "You Belong To Me" feels like a bit of a step back - the protagonists get tiresome and the plot isn't as complex as it likes to think it is. But the book is well-developed, very well-paced and easy to read. Even with the current flaws (which I somehow doubt will be ironed out any time soon), Rose delivers work of a consistent quality and seems to be improving on some of her earlier work.