Top positive review
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Good, but complex
on 4 August 2008
This is book 13 in the Troubleshooters series, therefore if you haven't read any of the others don't start with this one, you will be totally confused.
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.