Very good romantic suspense novel. However, I personally found the time lines very confusing in it, the effect being disjointed for me in places. It constantly changes from present day to 22 months ago, 4 months ago, 17 months ago, present day for three quarters of the book, in no particular order. So you have to be very aware of the sub-heading to give you the time period.
The novel centres on two couples, Max and Gina and Grady and Molly. Max is the head of an elite section of the FBI; Gina and Molly are aid workers; Grady who goes by several alias's is an ex- Special Forces soldier who was captured several years ago while on mission against drug barons. He is thrown into prison, tortured repeatedly and left for dead by the American powers that be. Rescued by a drugs baron, he works for him before going on the run from him. Consequently he is wanted by the Americans and the drugs baron.
Gina is twenty years younger than Max. He, very much a loner and screwed up emotionally, finds this difficult to handle and has rejected her love, in consequence she has gone to Kenya to work. The drug baron is now dead, and Grady hoping that he can now stop running, goes to see Molly in Kenya. They haven't seen each other for three years. A twist on the age thing is that Molly is ten years older than Grady. However, it soon becomes apparent when both Molly and Gina are kidnapped, that someone else is after Grady. Max and Grady have to work together to rescue the women and get out of Indonesia. Light relief is Max's gay subordinate Jules.
Right, before we get into this review, a little background on the characters will be helpful. Max and Gina have a bit of a history - which is complicated by guilt, regrets and loads of love. Oh, as well as a twenty year difference in ages that one party can't get past. Nice.
A couple years ago, Gina got into some trouble with some terrorists on a plane, and Max Bhagat, FBI head negotiator tried to talk the terrorists down, but not before Gina was horrifically assaulted. So, although Gina wants a relationship, Max is still trying to battle through the circumstances of their initial meeting and his feelings towards her. Got that? Good.
The story in this book is this: Gina's name comes up on a log of people who died in an explosion in Germany, and Max Bhagat heads to Germany to claim her body - only to find out that Gina is alive... but missing. With Jules Cassidy on assist - as well as Jones, an ex soldier and perhaps a traitor - who can lead Max to Gina.
The time line in this book is very non linear, in that the story swings from up to 23 months ago to the present day. Personally, I found the time shifts effective, in the sense that it kept the story moving, as well as heightening Max's emotional state from then to the present. Jones (the US ex- soldier) has his own woes with the woman he loves - he has a killer on his trail as well as a spectre of death which threatens to ruin the happiness that he and his woman (Molly) might have. Dramatic, romantic suspense with a capital D, that.
I enjoyed the book. It was worth the money. Will read again.
on 4 August 2005
From her previous books, Im guessing (and hoping) that Deck and Sophia will be next.
SB doesn't shy away from killing off some of her characters and using similar situations to real-life (in terms of threats) whilst still allowing the basic love-story to unfold (this time we got to see Jones and Molly's story too).
This was an excellent addition to the TroubleShooters series (also known as Team Sixteen). This is book nine and they just keep getting better. Can't wait for the next one!