About the Book:
Author: Irene Hannon
Publication Date: 2013
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Series: Private Justice – Book 2
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Series
Rating: 5 out of 5
Review: The offices of Phoenix, INC. are a private investigative firm run by three professional former law enforcement agents, and today – much to his chagrin, James “Dev” Devlin is the only man available to take on the new case. What led librarian, Laura Griffith to their offices was a cryptic note from her young teenaged sister, Darcy – the girl has disappeared and worried sick over her welfare, Laura is anxious to see Darcy safely returned. Dev agrees to take the case, but long before the final clue is traced, he finds himself falling for Laura and he is willing to go to any length to be sure Darcy – and Laura are safe from any danger there may be somehow entangled in Darcy’s disappearance.
If you didn’t see the tweets that confirmed it or gushing comments on other’s blogs, let me set the record straight – Trapped is without question the best Irene Hannon has written yet! Usually the genre in which Hannon has earned the distinguishing term of “Queen of Suspense” is “comfortable,” many of the villains are cookie-cutter alike and often the girl is snatched by the baddie which turns around and forces a revelation of love. This book threw out comfortable by familiarizing reader’s intimately with the villain; here he’s not just a figure in the shadows who only appears after being drawn out in the climax, he’s actually an integral part of the book whom we are asked to get to know as well, if not better than the good guys determined to trip him up. The villain starts out more charmingly intriguing than awful and in those establishing facts, the backstory of his life elects a kind of warped sympathy from the reader even as we despise how he is abusing something from his past and transfers it onto innocent victims – people who had no part in his rotten childhood. He infuses that disturbing upbringing onto helpless victims and enacts a sick “justice” onto them by convincing himself that in doing so, he’s saving them from a worse fate.
There is a wise balance to a lack of character building, which Hannon takes care to never overemphasize the romance – instead of being “in love” by the time the mystery draws to a close, there is no lack of commitment until a many month later epilogue, which is far more believable than to think a genuine, long-lasting romance had time to bond and form during a time when intents and thoughts lay on the safety of someone. Laura and Dev’s primary emotions towards each other are either interest to explore a serious relationship or physical, both of which are handled with ease and smarts. Also, this reads as a genuine reaction compared to books that tried to have us believe love blossomed over a two-week period and in only a handful of conversations, many of which revolved around strategy instead of social conversation. Impressed seems in understatement when summing up thoughts on Trapped. This reader cannot wait to read the followup – if it’s anywhere near as good as this, the second Phoenix, INC. novel, then these books are right on track to finish well.
Synopsis: When librarian Laura Griffin’s sixteen-year-old sister disappears on a frigid February day, leaving only a brief note behind, Laura resolves to do whatever it takes to track down the runaway teen. That includes recruiting ATF agent turned PI James “Dev” Devlin to help. But the deeper he digs, the more he begins to suspect that something sinister is at work in the girl’s disappearance. And the closer he gets to uncovering the truth, the clearer it becomes that the situation isn’t just dangerous–it’s deadly.
Chilling and at times terrifying, “Trapped” is the latest thrilling read from Irene Hannon, the queen of romantic suspense. Hannon outdoes herself with this fast-paced tale of fear, deception, and just the right dose of romance.
Coming Next from Irene Hannon: Claire Summers is a determined, independent single mother who is doing her best to make lemonade out of the lemons life has handed her. Keith Watson is a results-oriented workaholic with no time for a social life. As the executive assistant to a local philanthropic businessman, he’s used to fielding requests for donations. But when a letter from Claire’s eleven-year-old daughter reaches his desk, everything changes. The girl isn’t asking for money, but for help finding the long-lost son of an elderly neighbor.
As Keith digs reluctantly into this complicated assignment, he has no idea how intertwined his life and Claire’s will become–nor how one little girl’s kindhearted request will touch so many lives and reap so many blessings.
Through compelling characters and surprising plot twists, Irene Hannon offers readers this tenderhearted story of family connections that demonstrates how life is like lilacs–the biggest blooms often come only after the harshest winters. – May 2014
Sincere thanks to the publisher and special thanks to Fiction Addict for procuring a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.