Strong Female Lead
Series: Love Inspired Suspense
Genre: Christian, Romance, Suspense
Publication date: January 1, 2018
Brilliant, electronic warfare engineer, Drina Gallagher is riddled by guilt and determined to create a weapon to protect American soldiers. Caleb Norwood is a CIA agent working undercover. For two years he’s been trying to infiltrate a highly organized group selling secret plans on the black market. He’s scheduled to connect with operatives at a wind farm in the middle of the desert where he’ll be taken by helicopter to meet with the leader. He arrives at the meeting place only to discover the men have kidnapped Drina and plan to kill her. Cal must make an instant choice, keep his cover and stop the organization or save Drina. Cal chooses Drina. They race across the Mojave Desert to escape the killers and Drina discovers that Cal is a man of action grounded in unbreakable faith. His personal walk gives Drina the confidence she needs to confront the guilt of her past. Can He possibly forgive her and allow her and Cal to escape their pursuers? Or will all her hopes and dreams die in the desert?
Book three in Susan Sleeman’s Agents Under Fire Series, Web of Secrets, will leave you wanting to sleep with the lights on. The first two books of the series had some creepy villains but the one in book three, Van Gogh, is the definition of twisted and evil. After this one, I’m left wondering what kind of bad guy Sleeman will dream up next.
Becca Lange has dedicated her life to finding criminals with the FBI cyber team and helping foster children on the side. But one decision, made when she was a teenage, continues to haunt her—and she has the scars to prove her nightmare was indeed real. She has spent years studying and researching the man who held her and her foster sister captive, the man she managed to escape.
When a body of a teenage girl is found with the signatures of Van Gogh, the police ask for Becca’s help with the investigation. Determined to find out once and for all what happened to her friend, her sister, Becca agrees even though it means working with Connor Warren—the man who she can’t deny being attracted to.
From the first page, readers get a peek into the psyche of the villain as he tortures his victim. Throughout the book, his addled mind and skewed perception of reality are laid out in a way that is both unnerving and frightening, especially when he sets his sights on our heroine. Becca’s struggle with her past prevents her from embracing any future happiness—something she believes she might be able to have with Connor.
As a reader, I ached for Becca and what she’d been through, understood why she kept it a secret, and rooted for her to get justice. And I fell a little in love with Connor Warren, a man who works extra hard to put a smile on Becca’s face whenever he can. A man who is determined to protect her, even if it’s from herself.
If you’re a fan of romantic suspense, put this one at the top of your list!
***Bell Bridge Books provided me with a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Dee Henderson is a master at taking characters from her other books and weaving them within her latest stories. The threads that tie all of her characters together are one of the many reasons she’s often at the top of my list when someone asks for a good romantic suspense writer. In her latest offering, Traces of Guilt, not only does Henderson continue the trend of incorporating her past characters, she gives voice to one of them.
While balancing not only multiple points of view (more than two which is a bit of a change for her) but also multiple storylines and crimes, Henderson’s ability to tie everything together through the Thane family is a reflection of her ability to engage readers. I felt like I was sitting in the room with Evie, Gabriel, and Ann as they worked to solve two cold cases in the town of Carin.
Most of the book is in either Evie’s or Gabriel Thane’s point of view but we do get some insight into the other characters once in a while. It was great to get a better peek into Ann Falcon’s life (she’s shown up in books between her story in Full Disclosure and this one but in Traces, we get a better insight into her life now that she’s happily married).
I appreciate that Henderson writes strong female characters despite some horrific experiences and the men in their lives who are not only protective of them but also who encourage and uplift them.
There is just the tiniest hint of romance between the two main characters in this one. They’re building a friendship—one that hopefully blossoms into more in future books. In the end, she left me wanting more (which I’m hoping will be a wish fulfilled because this does look like the start of a new series: An Evie Blackwell Cold Case).
Traces of Guilt is available to pre-order with a release date of May 3. Just a helpful suggestion: Pick up Sins of the Past (also available May 3) and read Henderson’s novella before Traces and you’ll recognize one more name.
***Bethany House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.