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Into the Fire (Troubleshooters) Hardcover – 29 Jul 2008
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About the Author
Since her explosion onto the publishing scene more than ten years ago, Suzanne Brockmann has written more than forty books, and is now widely recognized as one of the leading voices in romantic suspense. Her work has earned her repeated appearances on the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists, as well as numerous awards, including Romance Writers of America’s #1 Favorite Book of the Year (three years running), two RITA Awards, and many Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice awards. Suzanne Brockmann lives west of Boston with her husband, author Ed Gaffney.
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I have read other books in the series and even I was confused for the first few chapters. One of the main reasons being that there is just far too much going on in the book. There are at least 4 sub-plots besides the main plot about Murphy and Hannah and far too many characters. Apart from nearly all the Troubleshooters being included, there are also 4 SEALS in there as well. The time-line also jumps from present to past and back for several chapters, which adds to the confusion. If SB had stuck to Murphy and Hannah, then time-line changes wouldn't have been much of a problem. It's the inclusion of the other characters and their sub-plots which is the problem.
Basically: Hannah, a cop, has been friends with Murphy of Troubleshooters, for years. She's also in love with him, although she doesn't let him know that. Murphy is very attracted to her, however he doesn't want to move the relationship into other realms as he is afraid of ruining their friendship. Then Hannah introduces him to her best friend Angelina who has no qualms in making a move and staking a claim on Murphy. They fall in love and marry. Then Angelina gets killed (in a previous book) and Murphy distraught, drops out of Troubleshooters and takes to drink in a big way. He blames the leader of a right-wing cultist group for his wife's death.
Then his friends at Troubleshooters learn that the cult leader has been shot and killed and the FBI want to speak to Murphy. Nobody knows where he is, so they decide to search for him.
Meanwhile Dave at Troubleshooters (TS) is in love with Sophia, who in turn is in love with Decker, who spurns her because he blames himself for an incident when he and Sophia first met. Jimmy Nash, Decker's friend and colleague keeps disappearing on covert missions nothing to do with TS and turns up with various wounds that he tries to hide from Decker and Nash's fiance, Tess. Various people at TS, including Nash, think that Decker is in love with Tess. Dave happens across a wounded Nash and helps patch him up and Nash makes him promise to keep it a secret. Meanwhile Nash is trying to make Tess break off the engagement, because he thinks that he is putting her at risk.
Then you have SEALS Izzy and Danny, who dislike each other. Izzy comes across Danny's troubled 17 year old sister who is looking for Danny. Unable to locate Danny, Izzy, very reluctantly, offers her a place on his sofa for the night. Danny goes spare when he finds out, as he thinks that Izzy has probably made a move on the girl.
Murphy turns up again on Hannah's doorstep and the two learn via email from Dave, that the cult leader is dead and Murphy is wanted for the death. Unfortunately for Murphy, he can't remember what he was doing at the time of the death a couple of month's ago. So he and Hannah go in search of clues; while all the above characters go in search of them.
The head of Troubleshooters has pulled in a psychologist/psychiatrist to interview all the Troubleshooters who were there when Angelina was killed, as he believes that they are suffering from PTSD, especially Decker who is showing signs of cracking up. He was the head of that particular mission and blames himself for Angelina's death. While interviewing them all, the information re. Decker and Sophia etc., comes to light. However, Nash won't speak to the Doctor as he recognises her from his Agency days and doesn't trust her.
Confused? What I did to remedy this was to seperate out the various story-lines and flick through following one storyline at a time, it was far less confusing that way.
It is a good book and I did enjoy it, it's just too convoluted with story lines.
There many people in this and usually that is a problem to me trying to keep every body straight in my head. so the couple in this book are Hannah and Muphry, they ahd been friends for a life time until the death of Muphry's 1st wife who is also Hannah,s best friend pulls them apart. So that is the main ploit but on top of that you and 2 other couples Izzy & Eden and Nash & Tess. There also lots of old friends from other TS books.
I wouuld recomend this book I took it on holiday and it was a prefect read.
- Murphy and Hannah have zero chemistry. Just as well the sex scenes are pretty non existent because I could not imagine these 2 being good together despite SBs kept telling the reader that it was. The pairing have previous history which always means the reader misses out and the good old "best friends that now fancy each other" was so old hat and not well done. Also, admirable although SBs intentions are in being wholly inclusive across all races, etc. I did feel that she was pushing the point by making Murphy part Vietnamese and Hannah deaf as I felt these were put in there for no reason.
- there is no interesting plot and minimal action. Virtually the whole novel is the myriad characters all talking about how they feel etc and the action that does come in at the end is poor and only an excuse for SB to pull in every character that has ever appeared in her books.
- the Izzy/Eden plotline was good in that it continued to develop Izzy as a lead role whilst still keeping his "jerk" like character which is good, and a throw back to the Wildcard/Sam characters who everyone seemed to love from earlier books. However, nowhere could I find why Izzy supposedly falls in love with Eden, they hardly knew each other and all she did was cry, weak "heroine". The baby bits are poignant though, will not put a spoiler here!
- Jimmy Nash/ Tess from Flashpoint - why did SB feel the need to take these back in to her books and take away their HEA? They have always been the weakest pairing in the book series and I certainly did not want to read about them again. Nor is there an explanation behind Nash's actions - or is SB saving this for yet another book?
- Decker/Sophia/ Dave all reappear from FP and here SB does take an unexpected turn. I hope she continues it as I never looked on Decker as a romantic hero. He spends most of this book being rather bitter.
On the plus side, the book is readable because I knew all the characters so well and I will probably read the next one but whereas SB used to be a must read, sadly it looks no longer to be the case.