Time's Up, Afton  - Brent D. Jones
She tugged at the edges of her apron, giving me a facetious and halfhearted curtsy. “We all wear masks, Afton. Sometimes it’s worth finding out what’s hiding underneath.”

 

Tia's words to her unexpected friend encapsulate the core of this book -- we find out what's underneath several masks. But first we've got to tie up some plotlines, see the fall-out and repercussions of the third installment (well, all of them, but the third particularly), and deal with a a few more grisly deaths.

 

This picks up right after Nice Try, Afton where we see Afton try to come up with an explanation that anyone will believe for the bloodbath surrounding her. From there, she has to design and implement her endgame to -- once and for all -- stop her tormentor before she leaves town.

 

This volume is really Afton pulling back the mask little by little to those around her -- library patrons, her brother, friends, and even herself. While that occurs, she learns a lot about her brother, friends, and her enemies. A lot makes sense that didn't before -- even if you didn't realize it needed the explanation until you got it.

 

I was less than satisfied with what was hidden under one mask -- but not enough that it ruined things for me. And, hey it leaves a door open (at least a crack) for Jones to use if he wants to return to Afton's world. So I'm really not going to complain.

 

I'm going to keep this short because I'm afraid I'll spill something if I keep going. This ends up nowhere near where I thought it was going when I finished Go Home, Afton some four months ago -- it's far better. I really encourage you all to pick these novellas up. Some interesting characters, some very compelling action scenes, and a story that will take you places you don't expect.