Review: Desperate Acts (Pike, Wisconsin #4) by Alexandra Ivy


Print Length: 352 pages
Publisher:  Zebra (February 21, 2023)

From Teenager Lia Porter shouldn’t have been anywhere near the railroad bridge that night. Sneaking home after a party in the fields outside Pike, Wisconsin, she glimpsed a woman in a leather jacket, running in terror. Lia puts the incident from her mind—until a body is found near the same spot fifteen years later, wearing the same jacket. The police rule it a suicide. Lia knows different. The woman she saw was trying to save her own life, not end it. But whatever she was fleeing from found her first . . .

The stranger who arrives at Lia’s store shares her suspicions. Hollywood stunt driver Kaden Vaughn has come home to Wisconsin to learn the truth about what happened to his brother’s fiancée years ago. The leather jacket, the timing—he believes the dead woman is Vanna, and that Lia may be the only person who can help. Together they retrace Vanna’s steps, but the more they dig, the darker the secrets become.

The killer is still out there, stalking the streets of Pike again, willing to do whatever is necessary to keep the truth locked in mystery. One by one, all those who know something about that night must be silenced, until there is no one left to tell . . .


My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Despite this being book number four in the series, it can be read as a complete stand-alone without any issues. I had only read the one prior, and I had no problems following along with this one. However, getting through this novel was a struggle for me as I had issues with it holding my interest.  

For one thing, this story has a very slow pace to it. And while there is no shortage of action (and murder), I never felt any sense of urgency to it. It felt more like okay... another person is dead, what does this person have to do with what happened to Vanna? Or what connection does this person have to that person? For all that action, I felt very bored through most of it. 

Another big issue I had with this is the way that store owner (and entrepreneur) Lia, along with stuntman turned motorcycle builder, were given carte blanche to run around throughout the entire novel investigating the crimes and collecting evidence (even if that was more often than not done unintentionally). It seemed as though people with something to say had no qualms whatsoever talking to these two without question, and I mean, I get it. The acting sheriff of the town wanted to keep things quiet; years had gone by with no answers, but it still blows my mind that not once was it even hinted at that things they learned (or were given) couldn't be introduced as evidence anyway because there was no chain of custody. 

Although there was a twist at the end that I didn't see coming, by the time it arrived, I just wanted the story to be over. That being said, I'm sure there will be lots of people who enjoy it far more than I did. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                                Desperate Acts is available on

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