I just now u/led the first four chapters of Sweet Home Alabama, the last Carpenter novel I've completed (whether there will someday be more I have no idea). It's different from the previous ones - Cecelia, having been a cop and close to obtaining here PI license, isn't quite as peaceful as she used to be. And under the provocation of a burning cross, and the revelation* of racism among some of the people in and around her hometown, she becomes pretty violent. And Darvin's temper, which you've read of if you've read previous novels, shows itself for real.
But I like this one. I'll not spoil the story by telling you why, especially since individual readers have individual responses. But I hope you like it too.
*"Reveal" is NOT a noun!