Only a handful of people in the world know that James Nash is alive.
For years, Nash performed ultra-covert “Black Ops” missions for a shadowy government agency. But when he walked away from their dirty work, his ruthless bosses weren’t about to let him go. After their attempt to assassinate him nearly succeeds, his former partner Lawrence Decker, with the FBI’s help, fakes Nash’s death to protect him.
With Nash secreted away in a safe house, Decker will risk everything–including his heart–as he races to solve the mystery of who wanted Nash dead. Passions will flare as everyone close to the deception finds themselves fighting for survival.
About the Author
After childhood plans to become the captain of a starship didn’t pan out, Suzanne Brockmann took her fascination with military history, her respect for the men and women who serve, her reverence for diversity, and her love of storytelling and explored brave new worlds as a New York Times bestselling romance author. Over the past twenty years, she has written more than fifty novels, including her award-winning Troubleshooters series about Navy SEAL heroes and the women—and sometimes men—who win their hearts. In addition to writing books, Suzanne Brockmann has co-produced a feature-length movie, the award-winning romantic comedy The Perfect Wedding, which she co-wrote with her husband, Ed Gaffney, and their son, Jason. She has also co-written a YA novel, set in the world of her paranormal Fighting Destiny series, with her daughter, Melanie. Find Suzanne Brockmann on Facebook, follow her on Twitter, and visit her website to find out more about upcoming releases and appearances.
Date of Birth:1960
Education:Attended Boston University
Read an Excerpt
If Dave had known, before he’d picked up the phone, how much trouble this one call would cause, he would’ve let it go directly to voice mail.
But it was Sunday morning, and he was enjoying—very much—the experience of surfing the cable TV news channels from the comfort of Sophia’s bed.
He loved hanging out in the bedroom of her little apartment, and not just because most of the time he was in here of late, he was in the process of taking off Sophia’s clothes.
Though she’d lived in this tiny second- floor walk- up for far fewer years than he’d inhabited his spacious and still- spartan condo, she’d turned this place into a real home. Her furnishings were unique—quirky, mismatched pieces she’d picked up in flea markets and painted in the vibrant colors of the Mediterranean. Rich blues in a variety of shades mingled with bright yellows, warm reds, and a green that brought to mind the newness of spring. Artwork—some of it her own, and quite good—hung on the walls. The open windows were covered by full, gauzy curtains that shimmered and breathed with the breeze. A ceiling fan was kept always running, moving at its lowest, laziest speed.
Last week Sophia had moved the TV into the room for him—an admitted news junkie—and as the phone rang again, he pushed the remote control’s mute button as he shouted to her, in the bathroom, “You want me to get that?”
Sophia had just turned on the water, and as he heard the shower door clunk shut, she called back, “You don’t have to.”
Dave should’ve ignored it and turned off the TV and gone into the bathroom to help Sophia wash herself in those hard- to- reach places, but he was an idiot. He was still on a high from last night, when his plane had landed and he’d turned on his phone to find that she’d called him while he was in the air. Five times.
She’d gotten home several days early from her own business trip to
Denver and—of course, because he had purposely neglected to tell her of his own international trek—was wondering where he was. She was cooking dinner, although, honestly? After four days apart? They were going to be eating late.
Dave had called her immediately, headed straight to her place, where she’d jumped him the moment he’d walked in the door—as if she’d been as starved for his touch as he’d been for hers.
Incredibly, it wasn’t the fabulous sex they’d had right there in her living room that had made his day, week, year—no, life. It was later, after dinner, with Sophia drowsy, her head on his shoulder, as they were about to fall asleep, telling him that she’d missed him, and that she slept much better— as in, she didn’t have her usual nightmares—when she spent the night in his arms.
It seemed the perfect segue for him to ask her about those nightmares—
a topic they’d both shied away from, for years. And this time, he was ready for it. This time, he knew the questions to ask.
But then she’d added that, in the morning if he wanted her to, she’d clear out a drawer for him, maybe make him some space in her closet . . .?
If he wanted her to?
Dave had answered by kissing her, and she’d kissed him back, and they’d made love again—slowly this time. Sweetly. She’d breathed his name on a sigh and she’d fallen asleep almost immediately after, leaving him holding her in his arms, with his heart so full his chest actually hurt.
But now, in the light of morning, the TV, the empty drawer, and the closet space weren’t enough for Dave. Nuh- uh. No, sir. He had to further stake his claim here in Sophia’s life by answering the telephone on her bedside table at 10:37 on a sunny Sunday morning, with a voice still rusty and deep from a satisfying night made up only partially of sleep.
There was a hesitation—an indrawn breath—as if the person on the other end were surprised to hear someone male pick up the phone. That’s right. Uh- huh. He was so the man. He was the dude with the cojones grande who was going to get his very own drawer here in Sophia’s pretty bedroom.
“May I speak to Sophia?” The voice, when it finally came, was female,
older, with a hint of Great Britain in its precise enunciation.
“I’m afraid she’s indisposed,” Dave said. “May I take a message?”
“Please. Will you ask her to call her Aunt Maureen?” She pronounced it ahhnt, rather than like the insect. “Maureen Miles. I’m her father’s sister
. . .?”
“Yes,” Dave said. “Of course. Hi. Sophia’s, um, told me about you.
From Boston, right? I’m Dave. Her . . .” What? Boyfriend? Lover?
Bedroom- drawer guy? They’d talked about a lot of things over the past weeks, but they’d never precisely defined what their relationship now was.
Maureen Miles didn’t seem to care. There was more to her message.
“Will you let her know that her father’s back in the hospital?”
Shit. “I’m sorry to hear that,” Dave said. “Mass General again?”
Another brief pause. “Yes. The doctors have given him only a few days this time, and he would like, very much, to see his daughter. I should think she owes him at least that much—”
“I’m sorry,” Dave cut her off. “With all due respect, ma’am, do we live in the same universe? Because in the reality- based one where I reside,
Sophia owes him nothing.”
“He’s her father,” the woman said.
“He may have contributed his sperm to the creative process,” Dave said tartly, “but in my opinion he lost the right to call himself Daddy a few decades ago.”
She was silent again for a moment, but she was just regrouping. She hadn’t given up. “Please tell her that he’s being moved into hospice in a few days.”
“I’ll give her the message,” Dave said, a but heavy in his tone, and the woman hung up without a thank- you.
He dropped the handset into the phone’s cradle and flopped back onto Sophia’s pillows, staring up at the spinning ceiling fan.
From the bathroom, he heard the sound of the water shutting off, the shower door opening. Sophia’s melodic voice. “We need to get moving if we’re going to make it to Encinitas by noon.”
What? Dave lifted his head and aimed his voice toward the bathroom door. “Noon? Wait a minute, why?”
She appeared in the doorway, gloriously naked, drying herself with a towel, her wet hair slicked back from her face. She was one of those women who were even more beautiful when not wearing makeup.
It was hard to think or listen when Sophia was naked, and he’d obviously not heard her response to his question, because she gave him her I’m repeating myself because you’re staring at me blankly smile and said, again,
“The main parking lot’ll fill up by noon.”
“Seriously?” Dave sat up, struggling to make sense of her words. “Are we talking about the same thing? The parking lot’ll fill up? For a flea market?”
“Antique show,” she corrected him, heading out of sight, back to the sink, where she kept a collection of bottles and jars of lotion, each one of them smelling sweeter than the last. If he hurried, he could watch her smooth some onto her arms and legs, her stomach and breasts.
As he skidded to a stop in the bathroom, she met his eyes in the mirror.
“You know, we don’t have to go.”
“I want to.” He opened the shower door and turned on the water. “The thrill of the hunt, the excitement of finding a treasure hidden in with the trash, the hours tromping through the brain- meltingly hot sun with the four million other people who helped us fill up the main parking lot before noon, who are hoping to find the exact same perfect cabinet for the kitchen before we do, so maybe we’ll have to win a duel or probably a spelling bee in order to gain ownership . . . I’m totally there, T- H- E- R- E.”
Sophia had turned around to look at him, her gaze traveling below his waist, her lower lip caught between her teeth as she tried not to smile—
and failed. “You either really love antiques, or you’re lying through your teeth.” She reached out and wrapped her fingers around him as she gave up and laughed. “I’m going to go with lying through your teeth.”
Dave laughed, too, as she stroked him, as she smiled up into his eyes.
“Obviously I’d anticipated a different morning agenda,” he told her. “But
I’m a grown- up. I can multi- task. I can both be your antique- hunting partner
and spend the day imagining all the ways I’m going to make you come after we get home.”
“Hmm,” she said, swaying closer, the tips of her breasts brushing his chest as she pressed his erection against the softness of her stomach. “Or we can say the heck with the main parking area, and take the PITA shuttle from the south lot.”
“South lot,” he repeated, unable to keep himself from touching her, his fingers sliding across her silky, clean, lotion- sweet skin. “There’s a south lot?”
Sophia nodded, then jumped up, wrapping her arms around his neck,
her legs around his waist, like a piggyback ride in reverse.
“I love the south lot,” Dave told her as he grabbed her to keep her from slipping off him, her perfect derriere filling his hands. And God, this was unlike any other piggyback ride he’d ever given anyone, because she shifted and pushed him hard and deep inside of her. “Holy shit.”
She pulled back to look at him, laughter lighting her face and making her eyes sparkle and dance. “New one, huh?” she asked as she began to move against him.
He nodded. “Oh, yeah.” His experience with sex, pre- Sophia, was ridiculously limited, and she knew it because, well, he’d told her the truth.
They’d talked about a lot of things in those first few days A.S.—after
Sacramento—and while he hadn’t been ready to go into full, gory detail about his farce of a relationship with Kathy- slash- Anise, he had confessed to Sophia that his full sexual oeuvre was limited to five interactions with one woman who didn’t particularly like him, even though she’d pretended otherwise.
Sophia hadn’t fainted at that news, no doubt because her own baggage was also quite cumbersome when it came to sex.
That first morning they’d woken up in each other’s arms, they’d made a promise to be honest in regard to their intimacy—since it was a potential minefield for both of them.
So, yes. Having sex standing up in the middle of the bathroom was a new one for him. Although there really wasn’t much he could do but stand there holding her, the muscles in his arms and shoulders getting quite the workout.
Which maybe meant he was a wimp, because she was petite and didn’t weigh more than a hundred pounds. But Dave was discovering that holding on to a hundred- pound woman was a very different experience than holding on to a hundred- pound woman while having sex with her.
“Ah, God,” he said. “Soph . . .”
“Thumbs up or down?”
“Oh, up,” he told her. “Big up.”
“Me too,” she gasped, her breath warm against his ear. “But feel free to, you know, set me on the counter, by the sink, if you need to—”
“Not a chance.” Dave loved where his hands were, loved the sensation of her legs and buttocks straining to push him more fully inside of her, but when he shifted slightly to get a better grip, he discovered—eureka!—
there was something he could do besides simply stand there and not drop her. He shifted again to hold most of her weight with his left arm, freeing up his right hand to touch her again, with slightly better aim.
She sighed his name, and that, combined with the increased speed of her rocking motion, was enough to bring him teetering to the edge of his release, so he touched her harder, deeper, and she came with a moan and a shudder that he loved as much as he loved his new drawer and closet space. And in that fraction of a heartbeat, in the brief instant of time between his knowing that he, too, was going to orgasm—now—and the deep rush of mind- blowing pleasure that was already starting to surge through his body, he remembered the phone call.
He’d yet to tell Sophia that her father was in the hospital.
Dave came with a crash, with a shout—“God, I love you!”—pulling her warm, pliant body more tightly against his, as she kept coming around him, urging him, as always, to give her more, more.
It should have diminished his pleasure—his remembering the unhappy message he’d promised to deliver. It should have made him ashamed for forgetting something so important in the first place.
It should have, but it didn’t.
Sophia’s father was a rat- bastard and few besides his sister Maureen would miss him when he was gone.
“Sweet Jesus,” Dave said when he got his vocal cords working again.
Sophia just laughed, still clinging to him, nuzzling his neck, ankles locked just beneath his butt.
Arms shaking, knees wobbly, he carried her out of the bathroom and dumped her onto the bed, collapsing beside her. “That was a solid thirty on the fun scale.”
She laughed again. “When is it ever not a thirty?”
In an effort to lighten things up—mostly for his own sake, since the simple fact that he was in a relationship with the woman of his dreams was often enough to get him choked up—Dave had suggested a rating system,
one to ten, for each new- to- him sexual position, of which there were many.
And yes, in all honesty, it was a way, too, for him to acknowledge his lack of experience—by addressing it straight on, with humor.
“Sweetheart”—he opened his eyes to do his best Bogart—“for me, just being in a room with you is a twenty.”
She had her head propped up on one elbow so that she could look down at him, her eyes wide and serious as her smile slowly faded.
“You know that I love you, too, right?” she finally murmured.
He gazed back at her for several long moments before he responded.
He waited until he knew for sure that his voice wouldn’t vibrate with emotion.
“You don’t have to say that.”
“It’s true,” Sophia insisted. “These past few months have been . . .”
She shook her head. “Sad, because of Nash dying, but . . . Also . . . I don’t know if I’ve . . .” She looked down toward the jumble of bright blue sheets beneath them and started again. “I can’t remember ever being this . . .”
She searched for the right word as Dave waited, his heart in his throat. She met his gaze again, her eyes guileless and nearly as blue as the sheets.
Not quite the word he was hoping for. Still, he smiled because he was okay with it. Fact was, he’d be okay with a wide variety of less than words.
Such as satisfied. Comfortable. At ease.
Dave knew he was Sophia’s second choice. He’d accepted that weeks ago, the very first night they’d made love. It would be enough. It was
“I’m glad,” he told her now, reaching up to push her hair back behind her ear, and it wasn’t a lie. He let her look long and hard into his eyes so she would know that he meant it, that he accepted her words for what they were—something good, if not fairy- tale perfect.
Her mouth quirked up into a smile. “You have no idea how hot you are, do you?”
“What?” Dave laughed as he realized what she’d said, and then rolled his eyes. “Yeah, actually,” he said, “I’m pretty sure I do. I fall somewhere between pickled and poached. Maybe, right after I get a haircut, for about two minutes, I can pass for steamed and . . . As fascinating as this discussion is, can we save it for tonight? Because—and I should have told you this before, but you stupefied me with your nakedness. . . .”
“I’m still naked,” she pointed out, that lip again between her teeth as she played with the hair on his chest, and dear God, Dave could see a whole lot of as long as we’re going to park in the south lot dot dot dot in her eyes. “Right,” he said, as his body stirred at the thought of staying in bed with this woman—his woman—for the rest of the morning, “so I better talk fast. That was your Aunt Maureen on the phone, Soph. Your father’s back in the hospital.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Suzanne Brockmann is back with the 14th installment of her popular SEAL/Troubleshooter series. Dark of Night puts closure to the threads and questions that began several books ago with the release of Flashpoint.
For the series reader, there are familiar characters to follow. For the new reader, while Dark of Night is not overly saturated with introspection or description, there is enough that the book can function as a stand-alone read.
The plot in Dark of Night is tightly woven and very fast paced. It follows events and revelations in the relationships of three distinctly different couples (Nash and Tess, Dave and Sophia, Decker and Tracy) who are in different levels of their relationships and facing vastly different issues while confronting the one issue that they all have in common.
All the characters (main and secondary) are deeply involved in the pursuit of the person(s) who have kept fellow Troubleshooter Nash ensnared in very dark ops for The Agency. Here the reader will find echoes of a theme visited often by Suzanne Brockmann; that of the shadowy, out of control intelligence agencies now functioning in the United States and the need to stamp them out.
Balancing out the dark tone of the suspense are well placed, believable lighthearted moments, as well as some sizzling romantic moments, between the couples as they scramble to find the danger before it destroys not only the people they love, but everyone involved in the mission.
The dialog between the characters is well written and believable, as is the involvement and interaction of each character brought into the story. While there are quite a few 'cameo' appearances of past characters, each one has a specific reason and purpose for being brought into the action.
The discovery of the person(s) who were threatening Nash and the Troubleshooters, and the dispatching of said person(s) felt a little rushed, although not enough to lessen the suspense.
This is a book that I found to be a page turning adventure that left me feeling as though each character had found the happily ever after they were due.
I was lucky enough to get to read an ARC of Dark of Night and I LOVED it! This book totally worked for me. I urge all fans of Suz Brockmann to rush out and read this book before drawing any conclusions about it. I truly think it is among the best of the books in the Troubleshooters Series. The action and suspense kept me on the edge of my seat and the romance lover in me was totally satisfied. Dark of Night left me feeling very happy and contented with the way everything worked out.
Not at all what I was hoping for. Felt the characters completely changed on me and very disappointed with the pairings. This is not why I read romance.
The new couples in Dark of Night may have worked had the characters not all changed their personalities.
Dave is now mini-Decker, Tracy is the smartest person at Troubleshooters, Sophia has lost her spunk, and Decker¿well Decker is the most different of all. Sophia and Decker finally talk to each other, but do not explain why it took them so many years to do so. That aspect was very disappointing. As was the big secret about Decker which was poorly executed and seemed to be in the book simply to shock readers.
On the good side, Jules appears. And one long-standing couple finally gets their act together.
I found it odd Decker and Nash did not have more scenes together.
The action plot is so-so. But the real mystery I found myself asking is ¿who are these people?¿
This was the end for me. I cant be locked into anymore series that yank my emotions and dont deliver. Dave/Sophia? - whatever. I really hope Dave takes that mechanic job. Decker/Tracy - smokin but....that's it? I felt really gipped by the time spent on them. I put aside the fact that Tracy became a genius, but I cant let go that I know barely anything about Decker...still. After 5 years. Nash/Tess - sweet but not high on my radar. Jules/Sam/many many others - funny moments but too many filler convos. Decker/Sophia - After 400 plus pages in thier concluding book I still cant figure these two out. Nothing was ever resolved except that they found other people. The past was discussed between them for about a page. If you can put on blinders to the previous books or if you didnt care about them, I'm sure you'll love this book. The plot was pretty good for a romance.
Ms. Brockmann has finally jumped the shark. Poor Kenny got shot. I think just about everyone in her books have now been shot. lol. Too bad Ms. Brockmann didn't put Dave and Decker out of their misery before writing this book. They are the most boring characters. Although probably better than reading about one of her last characters who turned out to be a pedophile. Yeah Izzy!
And the plot line was so convoluted, and ridiculous, it was laughable.
The whole series now seems like a money grab by Ms. Brockmann, with the unending story lines, and far fetched plots. Do yourself a favor.........don't buy this book.
I have loved all of Suzanne's books, but this was the most disappointing. I have put several books into wanting some couples together and am angry they did not end up together. I skipped through a lot of the plot, because I did not care about most of it. I loved seeing Jules, Sam, Alyssa and Ash. They were the best part of the book. I also loved Nash and Tess, but the rest was very disappointing.
Really enjoyed this. Good job all the way around.
After almost being killed in the last book, Troubleshooters James Nash and his wife Tess go into hiding. But Black Ops agents go after partners Dave and Sophia to bring Nash and Tess back out into the open. Will this be the end of Troubleshooters, Inc.? Troubleshooters #14 finishes up the series. You'll either love it or hate it--readers are so passionate about Brockmann's characters. Start with the beginning of the series, or you'll be totally lost.
I think that Mrs. Brockmann has done a great job with this book. I have to say that I was so touched, when Nash told Decker that Dave was the only other friend he had besides Decker. That was touching, because in Flashpoint, Nash didn't care for Dave. He didn't want to work with him. To him, Dave was a freak. And, I am sure prior to their friendship, Nash looked at Dave as being a weakling. Nash was worried how Dave would feel, if he found out that he wasn't dead. Throughout the book, he keep worrying about Dave. That's deep!I was happy to see my favorite couple. Sam and Alyssa and their baby. I just knew that they would have a boy. I was thinking that the baby probably have been named Sam, since Roger didn't change his name to Sam. He's just called Sam. But Ashton (Ash) is a good name. Ash loves his parents. He had gotten all happy, when he heard his mother's voice over the intercome. How cute! Speaking of cute, Sam time with Ash was cute too. Him teaching Nash how to change a diaper was sweet. I know that babies can swim, but after read where Sam said that he was taking Ash for a swim, I was like. I wouldn't let my six month old baby be in a pool. But, I know that Alyssa trusts Sam dearly. (I love Sam!)Okay, moving down to my second favorite couple.Dave and Sophia. I knew that they would get a HEA. I know that a lot of people don't feel that Dave was the right man for Sophia; that Decker was. But, Decker was never in love with Sophia. I didn't see where Decker was in love with Sophia in Flashpoint, Into The Storm, Into The Fire or even Dark of Night. Suzanne has given me clues that Sophia was going to wind up with Dave. I will not list all of them, but the main clue came from Flashpoint, when Sophia tells Tess that Dave is cute and that he would be her second husband, no make that her third husband. The love between Sophia and Dave in this story was real and pure. Yes, Dave had doubts. Should Dave have question Sophia's feelings for him? Yes. He wasn't sure if she truly cared for him. He knew that at one point, Sophia was in love with Decker, but in reality, she wasn't in love with Decker. She was in love with "the hero" - even in this book, Suzanne lets it be known that Sophia was in love with "the hero" and not Decker, the man. No, she doesn't say it word for word, but it's there. Hint: Pg 392 Decker talking to Sophia, about Tracy: "She sees me for who I am," Decker interrupted. "And she treats me like a man. Like an equal. Not some hero or... I don't know what. She's not afraid of me. She says what she sthinks, she never pulls her punches... I like the way she needs me. I really do. It's clean...honest."Sophia wasn't in love with Decker. She was infatuated with Decker. But, Sophia was in love - she was in love with Dave. That's the reason why Sophia hung up the phone on Dave in Into The Fire, when he told her that he was in love with him. She told him in the bar on the line of, "I couldn't...." In Into The Fire. Sophia has gotten jealous over Paulette. No woman would compare herself to another woman, if a man is just a friend to her and she didn't have feelings for him. Sophia is the one that kissed Dave first. She wanted him to make love to her. Was she trying to block out her feelings for Decker? No, because there was no feelings. She was trying to admit to herself that Dave was the man she was in love with. In the book towards the end, we see that she realized that Dave was the man she was in love with all this time.They truly make a cute couple. Next time, we read about them. They will be married and living with Dave. He's house is bigger. I hope they have a little boy. DJ short for Dave Junior would be cute. But, Dave was thinking about a girl, so maybe they would have a girl. Daddy's little girl. How cute. And the name Marianne. I know someone with that name and her name is not pronounced Mary Ann, although, so peeople cal her that.Dave and Sophia's part will surely be a reread.Oh, and I have to say that I'm glad th
I cannot get enough of Brockmann's writing. Her books (especially after she graduated out of Harlequins) are fast-paced, complex, tough, exciting, sexy and downright romantic. I'm glad I married *before* reading her, 'cause she really could have ruined me for all reall men. Her characters are the sexiest, sensitive Manly Men *ever*. This one is fascinating because practically all of the characters she's intorduced in past books make an appearance, as one of the Troubleshooters' own is being targeted. As they all race to discover who the shady Agents behind the escalating murders are, two couples, Dan and Sophia and Decker and Tracy, are also caught up and realize who they're meant for. But that's an incredibly cheesy and simple description for the gripping plot that unfolds on the page. Run, do NOT walk, to the library to check out this series!!!
Very fast paced, although the action takes place over a short four-day period. Ties up some loose ends, answering once and for all the various pairings begun in "Flashpoint".At first I found it somewhat difficult to follow the various plot threads, as most of the characters were paired or teamed off and separated, with everyone going here and there. But as the story continued, the plot drew together with the final resolution being surprisingly simplistic. While I liked the Tracy/Decker pairing well enough, the fact that it developed over such a short period of time makes it hard for me to buy the intensity. Decker begins the book a damaged soul, and it's hard to accept that he might be healed so quickly simply because of the love of a good woman. However, I have none of the complaints of those who believed in the Decker/Sophie soul-mates scenario. Really - REALLY - missed Izzy in this book and look forward to more of him in the future.Overall, not my most favorite Brockmann (that would be "Over the Edge" and "Out of Control") but a solid entry into the series.
Awsome! Awsome! Awsome! If you're a fan of this series, I don't see how you can't love this book. This book finally gives Decker a voice and you begin to understand so much more about why he is the way he is. And it resolves the issues between he and Sophia. And I love who he ends up with. I think she's perfect for him.
I've not read Suzanne Brockmann for the past few years (more years than I thought) and this is not the book to return to her. Dark of Night is the culmination of a few long threads (which I ordinarily love) but not having read the more recent ones, I don't know these characters and there is too much backstory/history for me to catch up easily. This is not Ms Brockmann's fault. I wouldn't expect to be able to pick up midway through a complex fantasy series and understand what is going on, so I shouldn't expect to here. I know that this is the end of quite a few cross book threads, so I'll wait for the next one which should be easier to pick up.
Badly shaken after the loss of one of their own, the men and women of Troubleshooters Inc. go up against their most deadly opponents yet--the clandestine organization called The Agency. But when their leader, former Navy SEAL Lawrence Decker, barely escapes with his life, it soon becomes clear that the hunters have become the hunted --and the Troubleshooters are no longer just solving a crime--they're fighting for survival.I really enjoy the Troubleshooters series, but it's been a little harder to get into the last couple of titles. After I finally remember who all the characters are, the pace picks up and the story races to an exciting conclusion. I've really had a problem with "Dave" and "Decker" because their names are so similar.
I will confess to being out of reach of a library for a little over a year, so haven't read any of the last few Troubleshooters books. Thus, I have none of the complaints that many of the one-star reviewers have. Other than the already established couples growing relationship-wise, I'm not attached to "super-couples." Watching soaps in the 80s and 90s cured me of that. lol I was a little confused at the beginning. When I started reading chapter one, it took me a minute to realize that the entire prologue was a dream/escape for Dave. I've been there - had a need to have some elaborate world to go to in order to keep from giving up, so I understood it once I realized that's what it was. However, the segue there was not as smooth as I would have expected. There were several times while reading that I had to click back to the previous chapter or scene with certain characters to refresh my memory on what was happening when I "turned the page." I like the alternating scenes and multiple locations, I just thought some of the transitions were so long that I couldn't keep straight what was happening where. Maybe I'm getting old. I felt the Robin-into-rehab story was a little too pat. Those Troubleshooters are smart enough to have come up with a better story than that to explain Robin's sudden disappearance from a movie shoot. Him needing to withdraw from the public eye happens often enough. Homicidal stalker, perhaps? Severe food poisoning? There was more tell in this book than I thought was necessary, and I inferred that it was there for newcomers to the Troubleshooters series, but some of it could easily have been edited out. Several times, characters explained things to each other for the audience's benefit. I guess if this is the first book you're reading with SEALs or government operatives, you need it, but I thought much of that was also unnecessarily telly rather than showy. On the other hand, I laughed out loud (in a good way) more than a few times while reading Dark of Night. There were at least half a dozen occasions where I wanted to highlight and share something from the book with friends, though I only ended up sharing one. What I found in Dark of Night were characters who took some good, hard looks at themselves and came to some difficult realizations about their personal quirks and their interactions with others. In that respect, this book was a joy to read. Characters I've grown to love begin to behave in ways that are not in keeping with the mask they've presented to others, even to others very close to them, even the mask they presented to themselves. Sometimes one learns things about oneself that are extremely uncomfortable and hard to integrate. I empathized with Decker's struggle. I did feel his acceptance of it, after all that, was a bit rushed, but I guess there's only so much room in a book. I loved that nearly everybody had a chance to step up to the plate and show some wisdom or strength of character. Oddball things from the past would create opportunities to showcase smarts that aren't necessarily visible on the surface. Tracy and Sophia, in particular, have obviously been heavily underestimated by both their teammates and by long-time Troubleshooters readers. Neither is as fragile as others have made her out to be. Near as I can tell, everybody has a Happily Ever After now, though I personally would quite gladly read more about these characters ongoing struggles and growth, even without the main romantic couple thing that has been Brockmann's stock in trade. I'm planning to reread the entire series in one go at some point, and this one will most definitely be included.