Burning debris littering the ground . . . smoke pluming in the acrid air . . . this is just the beginning if he fails.
Seven years ago, operative Luke Gallagher vanished to become part of an elite team set on capturing a deadly terrorist. When Luke returns to face those he left behind, their help becomes his only hope of stopping his target’s latest threat of an attack that would shake America to its core.
Private investigator Kate Maxwell never stopped loving or looking for Luke after he disappeared. But she also never imagined he left her or his life by choice. Now he’s back, and together they must unravel a twisting thread of secrets, lies, and betrayal, all while on the brink of a biological disaster.
Will they and their love survive, or will Luke and Kate become the terrorist’s next mark?
I have had the pleasure of reading all of Dani Pettrey’s books. My thoughts:
What I liked
Not as many povs. I really think book three suffered from the case of too many povs. Fortunately, Luke told most of the story in this book, just like I thought he should. He’s been such a mystery for most of the story that I wanted to know who he was and what he had been up to. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn too much about him personally (see below), but we definitely learn what he’s been up to and why he made the decisions he made.
A suspense and a mystery. This book manages to go back and forth, deftly juggling both a suspense and a mystery. I believe a suspense novel is based on the idea that you, the reader, know who the bad guy is, but you read to see the main character(s) connect the dots. This would be the international issue that was introduced in the previous book. I will admit that I was not as invested in the suspense, as I appreciate a good old-fashioned who-done-it more, but Pettrey does a good job of not overpowering you with information so as to get you lost or uninterested. She also managed to make the bad guy feel more human and not just come across as some evil villain. I was, however, really looking forward to solving the mystery of who killed Jenna, and while some parts seemed to randomly come together fast, I did enjoy Griff and Finley solving that mystery.
Characters. Kudos to Pettrey for creating a cast of characters that each had their own personalities and quirks, so much so that I never got them confused with the others. My favorite two will always be Griff and Finley followed by Parker and Avery, but they were all wonderful fictional people to spend time with.
Spiritually, the characters pray and seek God and make real efforts to grow and develop their faith.
What I didn’t like
Honestly, this is a matter of personal preference. This is a plot driven book. Something is happening in just about every chapter; places blowing up, people being shot at, clues being stumbled upon (some of the clues were handed to them so quick, I wondered what took them so long to get there). With so much action, there was very little room for genuine characterization. To me, Luke and Kate were very superficial. That’s not necessarily bad, it just leaves for some rather unmemorable characters. I do believe that to a great degree, Pettrey relies on the first two books in her series to tell the stories of most of her characters (I usually adore the first two book), but then that means you mostly get action in the last two. This works for some people, but it wasn’t exactly my cup of tea.
Also, the romance was a bit of a disappointment. It was almost as though the main couple had to get together cause there was no one else left. There was talk about attraction and for once I was like, skip attraction, do they connect on a personal level? I wasn’t sure they did. As a romance lover, I would have liked more. However, if you’re going into this book ready for action, I think you will be satisfied.
Romantic scale: 6
Overall, I loved the first two books in this series and am super impressed with Pettrey’s vision by having an overarching mystery and suspense that spans four novels. But, I do think in the rush to do it all, some character development was missing and ironically, some of the suspense/mystery happened too fast.
**I received a copy from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**