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Customer Review

48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever, hot and perceptive, 18 Aug. 2003
This review is from: Behind Closed Doors (Paperback)
A good combination of thriller and very erotic romance. There’s a lot of sex in this book, so if you object to such, then this is not a tale for you. However sex is used here as much to show how the two central characters change in the course of events, from power plays to tenderness, touching on punishment and eventually even forgiveness. In this, as well as the quality of writing, McKenna makes this about more than sex, and brings in something of the human condition, as well as drawing in other themes and subtexts of the novel. Thus, although plentiful, the erotic nature of the book actually adds meaning to the relationship and thus integrates into the story as a whole.
As for the thriller side, there is certainly no ‘mystery’ here – we know whodunnit and why the various characters are taking the actions that they are. The two central characters are Raine Cameron, who has recently begun working for identified baddie Victor Lazar, and Seth Mackey, whose brother had been killed 10 months prior to the opening of the book. All that drives Seth now is the need for vengeance. He likens himself to a cyborg – focused, emotionless and with a single purpose. To this end he has extensively bugged the house of Lazar’s mistress (Lazar being involved in his brothers death), which is now Raine’s house. Raine is actually related to Lazar, and blames him (rightly) for the death of her father. She has been on the run from Lazar for 13 years, and considers herself to be a bit of a coward – the shy, retiring, unnoticeable type. Now convinced that she needs to find out more of her fathers death, she has ‘infiltrated’ Lazars firm, supposedly anonymously – almost a joke as Lazar knows exactly who she is. Seth, for his part, has been watching Raine with fascination, becoming more and more attracted to her. And now the plan moves along, as he seeks to make contact with Lazar, and through him with Lazar’s new assistant. Both of them seeking knowledge and retribution, neither sure of who they can trust, both unable to deny the attraction they feel for the other. An attraction watched with interest by many…
It’s a very well thought out story, containing many elements. Revenge, hate, manipulation, rage, and the seamer side of life are definitely a part of it, but so too is a great deal of warmth and ‘family’ feeling. Seth on his side has the memories of his brother, and his developing relationship with the McCloud brothers (who I hope will have their own stories in the future). Raine brings her historical relationship with her parents, and her ongoing complex feelings about Lazar. There are others very central to the book too – Novak and Riggs whose roles become important in the telling of the story. There is no ‘mystery’, but a great deal of human nature, as characters change and develop as they deal with very real danger and cope with the shifting nature of reality. I particularly liked the triangle of Raine, Seth and Lazar’s roles as they played against each other.
Overall I enjoyed the book very much, particularly as a study of human characteristics and relationships, and indeed and how we as individuals affect each other and touch each others lives, for better or worse. I liked very much that this ‘erotic thriller’ was deeper than a surface story, and that the characters within were constantly evolving not only as they grew and changed within themselves, but also in their dealings each other.
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Location: London, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 12,541