From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen comes a new explosive, compelling thriller.
With his dying breath, Carl Venable, head of the CIA task force on terrorism and Jude Brandon’s final link to terrorist ringleader Max Huber, gives Brandon a mandate: keep his daughter, Rachel, safe at any cost. But Rachel Venable has a shocking, twisted past of her own, one that comes rushing back after her medical clinic in Guyana is attacked by Huberthe same man who murdered her father and kept her imprisoned for months.
Brandon and Catherine Ling, Rachel’s longtime ally and fierce protector, are determined to keep Rachel out of danger, but she knows that it’s impossible to stay hidden when Max Huber wants you dead.
As Rachel and Brandon race against the clock to bring Huber down before he can orchestrate a disaster that will lay waste to half the country, they also fight a growing attraction to each other – an attraction that could prove just as dangerous as Huber himself.
In this gripping, fast-paced novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen, one thing is clear: everyone has a vendetta, and no one will rest until they get their revenge.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)|
About the Author
IRIS JOHANSEN is The New York Times bestselling author of Night and Day, Hide Away, Shadow Play, Your Next Breath, The Perfect Witness, Live to See Tomorrow, Silencing Eve, Hunting Eve, Taking Eve, Sleep No More, What Doesn’t Kill You, Bonnie, Quinn, Eve, Chasing The Night, Eight Days to Live, Blood Game, Deadlock, Dark Summer, Pandora’s Daughter, and more. And with her son Roy Johansen, she has coauthored Night Watch, Sight Unseen, Close Your Eyes, Shadow Zone, Storm Cycle, and Silent Thunder.
Read an Excerpt
Carl Venable, head of the CIA task force on terrorism, was not often out in the field, and even less often in physical danger. But now he was missing. And he was the one man who couldn't be left behind.
And, dammit, there was no way Jude Brandon was going to have that happen.
"They're coming, Brandon!" Nate was skidding down the slope toward him as he came out of the forest. "Just over the ridge. I told you that you couldn't keep searching. Get on the damn helicopter! They'll be here in minutes."
"How many minutes?"
"Did you see Venable?" Brandon asked. "Did you see him, Nate?"
"I saw him." Nate jumped into the cockpit of the helicopter. "We've got to get out of here. Twenty or thirty of Huber's men are heading for that cabin. It's too late. We don't have a chance of retrieving him."
"The hell we don't." Brandon was already heading back up the hill. "We've got to get him out of here. He has a damn target on his back. You know what they'll do to him if they get their hands on him. Be ready to take off when I get back."
"It's no use, dammit." Brandon could hear Nate cursing behind him.
Screw it. Fifteen minutes could be a long time. Nate should have gotten Venable out when he saw him. It wasn't like him to leave a job undone.
Three minutes later, he was at the cabin.
A minute later, he'd checked out the exterior of the grounds and determined it was clear.
But Venable had not been anywhere in sight, and Nate had said he'd seen him.
Brandon threw open the door, dove in, and rolled to the left.
"You never listen, Brandon," Carl Venable said from across the room. "I've been expecting you."
"Then you should have come when Nate —" He stopped as he saw that the CIA operative was lying on a cot that was as bloody as the front of his white shirt. "Shit." He was on his feet and across the room in two strides. "You're wounded. How bad?"
"Very." Venable's voice was barely above a whisper. "Sorry, Brandon. I know you'd like to rob Huber of this particular victory, but I'm dying. I should be gone in a few minutes."
"Not if I can get you out of here." He was opening Venable's shirt. "I'll just apply pressure and —" He stopped as he looked down at the wound. "Damn."
"Too late," Venable said. "You're good at battlefield wounds. You know it's the truth. Say it, Brandon."
"Okay, it's true." He met Venable's eyes. "But I can get you out of here before Huber shows up and does anything else to you."
"I'll be past worrying about ... torture before he walks through that door. We both know it."
He wasn't going to deny it. Venable wouldn't appreciate it. "What about your informant? Did Nemesis tell you anything?"
"No time. But I gave him ... Rachel's name."
He stiffened. "Your daughter's name? Are you crazy? Why not mine?"
"A little ... insurance." Venable tried to smile, but his voice was getting weaker. "Not that I ... don't trust you. I just trust her more. And it's a way of doubling my chances of getting Rachel out of this alive. Another reason for you to keep Max Huber away from her."
"You don't need insurance. I said I'd do it."
"But you're like me, a driven man. She's had to contend with me all her life, I don't want to leave her to face another struggle alone. Tell her that I kept ... my promise. This time I'm giving her a choice." He coughed, and a tiny bit of blood appeared at the corner of his mouth. "And I have one final job to do. I have to make sure ... that Huber thinks he has plenty of time ... for his next move. That means getting you the hell out of Dodge before ... he finds out that you're on your way to get her. So on your ... way, Brandon."
"I don't take orders from you, Venable."
"No, but you'll take this one. Rachel's your only way to score against Huber now. You've fought too long to give up your shot at him. I don't flatter myself you're doing ... this for me, you're doing it for pure revenge. You're ... good at that, Brandon. How much time do you have left?"
"Tell me how you'll ... get out of here?"
"I can't use the helicopter, they're almost on top of us. They'd know that I'd been here. I'll hide the copter in the woods, and Nate and I will walk out, then call for assist when it's safe."
"And then you'll go ... for Rachel?" Venable was holding his gaze. "Promise me. There won't ... be much time. He'll know where she is by now."
"I'll go for her." He looked down at him. "She's not my choice. But I'll use her to get what we both want. You shouldn't have gotten yourself shot, Venable."
"I realize it was a major ... disruption of your plans." His voice was fading. "But you won't have a plan unless you get yourself out of here. Forget that ... bullshit about not ... leaving a man behind. I always told you that the Army brainwashed you. That's why ... I told Nate not to tell you I'd bought it."
"Yet I don't think you would have left me behind." Brandon was already heading for the door. "But I'll get out, and I'll get Huber." He looked back over his shoulder. He didn't want to leave him, dammit. At one time or another Venable had been both ally and enemy to him, but he shouldn't have to die alone. His eyes were closed, and Brandon didn't know if Venable was still alive to hear him. "I've no use for the CIA, they've tended to get in my way. But you were the best and most honest operative I ever ran across, Venable. It's been a privilege."
"How ... generous. I feel ... honored that —" His head slumped sideways. Brandon could no longer hear his breath.
Brandon could feel the fury tear through him as he shut the door and started at a run toward the hills. He hadn't known Venable that well, but this time they'd been on the same side, fighting the same battle for different reasons. And what he'd known he'd liked and appreciated as much as he'd allowed himself. They were both obsessed, and obsession permitted little else to enter into a relationship. Venable's death only added to the score Brandon had to settle with Max Huber.
And Venable had been his best key to getting Huber, he thought with frustration. He had been so close ...
But Venable had given him another key. And her name was Rachel Venable. Forget about what might have been and go after the possible.
He took out his phone and dialed Nate. "Venable's dead. You should have told me he'd been shot."
"He told me not to do it. He said if I did, you'd go after him. He was dying, Brandon. I could see it. But you went anyway. I thought you would."
"So did he." Because Venable had wanted one last assurance that Brandon would do what he wanted. "I'm on my way back. Start preparing the helicopter. We're going to hide it in the woods."
"I'm on it. Anything else?"
"Call Monty and tell him to chart a course for Georgetown and make ground preparations. We'll need a team of ten or twelve."
"It's on the coast of Guyana, South America. We're going to Guyana." He cut the connection.
One more call. It was one he didn't want to make. It could mean endless complications, subtle manipulation, and perhaps even duplicity. But he knew it had to be done.
He quickly punched in the private number for Claire Warren.
NALEZ, GUYANA 7:40 P.M.
Just one more drop of the broadleaf palm root ...
Rachel Venable's eyes narrowed with concentration on the glass vial as she carefully squeezed the yellow liquid into the mixture. Good enough. She'd had to substitute here in the rain forest because the ingredients had to be fresh in order to be at top efficiency.
And top efficiency might not even be good enough, she thought wearily as she put the cap on the vial. She'd already sent Maria Perez's test results to the lab in Georgetown, and they'd said that nothing could be done. They'd given the little girl perhaps two to three days before she went into a coma. She'd been totally unresponsive to every treatment they'd tried since she'd come down with the virus. It might be another day after that before the virus killed her. The mosquito-borne Taran virus had caused a rare fever that had struck this village in the rain forest with almost always fatal results. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason why some victims were taken and others spared.
"You've been working for twenty-four hours straight, Rachel. Give it up." Dr. Phillip Sanford stood in the doorway of her tent, his gray eyes narrowed on the vial in her hand. "I just received orders from headquarters. They're pulling us out of Guyana. They said our team has done everything we could do here."
Rachel tensed. She'd been expecting it since they'd sent the last ambulances with the survivors to Georgetown this afternoon. Their unit of One World Medical was always in demand in war-torn cities or places like this where no one else was willing to serve. They were constantly on the move. "When?"
"Tonight. As soon as we can pack up. They want us in Sudan by tomorrow night."
"No!" She looked down at the vial. "Not that soon. Stall them, Phillip. Give me another twenty-four hours."
"That will be hard to do." He made a face. "Would you care to tell me why?"
"No." She moistened her lips. "Just stall them. It won't be that hard. They think you walk on water. You always manage to bring in mega donations when they trot you out at those fund-raisers."
"But I don't walk on water," he said quietly. "And I do this job because it needs doing. Just as you do, Rachel. Only I'm becoming aware that we approach it from different directions."
"I work just as hard as you do, Phillip."
"Harder. Because after you've spent your time at the operating table trying to heal these people, you're here in your tent playing with all your potions." His gaze ran over the shelves of ingredients above her worktable. "That's been your modus operandi ever since you joined my unit two years ago. You're one hell of a doctor, Rachel." His gaze shifted to her face. "But what else are you?"
"It's all in my résumé." She smiled with an effort. "As you say, I like to play with my potions. I spent years studying with Hu Chang, who taught me a great deal about natural and herbal medicines before I went to medical school. Naturally, I can't use them in my practice, but they keep me interested out here in the jungle." She lifted her chin. "A harmless hobby, Phillip."
"I'm sure you wouldn't allow it to be anything else. You believe in the primary rule. First, do no harm." He was silent. "But I've seen that you occasionally have patients who had miraculous recoveries after we'd given up on them."
"There are always miracles. We've all seen them and been grateful."
"But you have more than your share." He held up his hand as she started to speak. "I'm not accusing you. We're all in this fight together." He looked at the vial in her hand. "I just want you to know if you need help, I'm here for you."
She inhaled sharply as she saw his expression. During those first years with Hu Chang, whenever she'd looked in the mirror, she'd seen that expression on her own face. The intensity, the eagerness, the potential that if you just reached out, you might make something different and wonderful happen. Of course Phillip would react as she had done. He was a healer of the very best kind, who would do anything for his patients.
But he mustn't do this.
She met his gaze. "You're head of the team. I know I can come to you with problems."
"That's a nice noncommittal answer." He paused. "You held Maria Perez back when we sent the rest of the patients to Georgetown. Why?"
"Her mother, Blanca, wanted to spend her last days with her daughter."
"She could have gone with her."
"She thought Maria would be more comfortable here."
"For the next twenty-four hours?"
"And you won't let me help you?"
"I don't know what you mean." She paused. "But if I did, I hear there's such a thing as plausible deniability." She added quietly, "You're a good man and a wonderful doctor, Phillip. As you said, we approach our profession from different directions. My direction isn't nearly as safe or free from the possibility of guilt or mistakes as yours." She glanced at the rows of potions on the shelves. "Back off. You're not welcome here."
"Have it your way." He grinned at her. "I'll see you at the mess later to have a last cup of coffee. I think it's going to take a longer time than I expected to pack up that mess. I believe it would be a goodwill gesture to deliver the remains of the food to the villagers. And we've left a lot of refuse to clean up around the camp ..."
"It might take all of that." He turned and headed for the tent opening. "Good luck, Rachel."
"I don't have any idea what you mean." She took the vial and strode out of her tent and across the camp toward the single patient tent left at the edge of the clearing. "I'll see you later, Phillip."
* * *
"How's she doing, Rachel?" Nancy Kavitz asked softly as the nurse practitioner came into the tent four hours later. "Such a sweet little kid. Did you know that she's only eight? Even when I gave her shots, she'd try to smile at me." She shook her head. "Until this morning. Is she asleep or has she gone into a coma?"
"No coma ... yet." Rachel looked back down at the little girl.
Maybe not ever, Maria. You need to stick around and grow up and have kids that are as sweet as you are. You think about it, and maybe somebody up there will hear you. "Though her fever is still high. I was hoping it would come down."
"Why?" Nancy frowned, puzzled. "The fever in the other patients didn't come down before they went into coma state."
"Dammit, that's why it has to come down," Rachel said sharply. "Why are you taking it for granted that she doesn't have a chance? They all have a chance. We just have to give it to them. She's younger than the others, her body is fighting harder. You don't have a right to —" She stopped and drew a deep breath. Nancy's eyes were wide with distress. Rachel knew that Nancy never really gave up on any of her patients. It was just that with kids like Maria, she couldn't get her hopes up because the pain was so terrible when she lost them. Nancy was in her late thirties, she'd been with the team for ten years longer than Rachel and she didn't deserve an attack from her like this. "Sorry," she said jerkily. "I guess it's been a long two weeks for all of us. Who knew a damn mosquito would cause all this hell?"
"Yeah," Nancy said. "I thought the Zika was bad; and then along came Taran. The government says the spraying is working. They're keeping the infestation localized."
"Too late for Nalez. The village is a ghost town now." She looked back down at the little girl. Not too late for you, Maria. You keep fighting.
Her glance shifted to Nancy. "Why did you come? Can I help you?"
"No, I'm supposed to help you." Nancy smiled. "Phillip said that he told you to join us for coffee in the mess, and you didn't come."
"It was the wrong timing for me."
"Whatever. He said that he didn't think that you'd want him to help you, but I might be able to do it. He thinks you need some sleep since we're not going to be able to pull out of here until sometime tomorrow. I can sit with Maria and give you a break." She paused. "I'll watch her, Rachel. Any change, and I'll come for you. Trust me."
"I do trust you." She got to her feet and arched her back to stretch it. "And I don't really need to check her again until ten tomorrow." She'd given Maria the potion an hour ago and she couldn't give her the last one for at least twelve hours, or it might prove fatal. All that could be done until then was to keep her liquids normal and watch her for any sign of deterioration. "But I'll be back at seven in the morning to relieve you. Thanks, Nancy."
She shrugged. "My job. And if I didn't do it, Phillip would be over here instead. I think he's got a thing for you."
"A thing?" Rachel shook her head. "Not true. He's just got a sense of responsibility for his team."
"Yeah." She grimaced. "As long as his team is a redhead with long legs and big green eyes. He's a man, isn't he? We're always stuck out in these hellish conditions, and it's natural he'd want to jump you."
Rachel chuckled as she remembered Phillip's intense, longing expression as he gazed up at that shelf of potions. "You're wrong, Nancy. That's not what he wants."
She tilted her head. "And that's not what you want either?"
"Good." She grinned. "Then you won't mind if I do the jumping? I've always had a crush on him since he took over the team five years ago. I was just a little intimidated by all those letters after his name. But I've decided that no one should wait for what they want. Dedication can only go so far. If I want anything else to make my life worth living, the rest is going to be up to me."(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Vendetta"
Copyright © 2018 IJ Development.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Enjoyed the different twists. Cliff hanger made we want the next book.
This was an excellent book. The storyline was great and quite different from others I have read. It's nice to have a storyline that includes strong women. With the surprise ending I'm not sure what to believe.
I couldn't put it down ! I waited till morning to start it. No fair with the ending Iris! ??
He me from the first pages! Couldn’t put it down!
CIA head of terrorism Carl Venable has been shot. As he lays dying, he tasks Jude Brandon with keeping his daughter Rachel safe from terrorist Max Huber. At first Rachel is not interested in any help, but she soon changes her mind as they slowly discover the evil plan that Huber has. They also get assistance from Catherine Ling, a CIA operative. And so begins this fast paced story to stop a major disaster to the USA's west coast planned by Huber while keeping Rachel out of his destructive grip. It's always a gamble to start any series several books into the storyline. For about the first 75 pages I kept thinking it was a mistake to have not read the prior books. But once we got into the meat of this particular installment of the Catherine Ling series, my concerns disappeared. Both Catherine and Rachel have complicated pasts and a strong bond. They are headstrong and determined to achieve their goals without doing harm to each other. While trying to stay independent, both women have a love interest that brought a little bit of romance to the story. But the main focus was the action and suspense. I am very interested to keep up with this series as I found it very entertaining. My thanks to St. Martin's Press and Netgalley.
I expected a twist at the end, but it wasn’t that one! Can’t wait for the next.
I love all of Iris Johansens books, but unfortunately this one could not keep my attention, but still cant wait for her next one
Couldn't put it down
Vendetta is the fifth in the Catherine Ling series but the first that I have read and I had no problem reading it as a standalone. I have read and enjoyed books by Iris Johansen in the past and I am glad that I requested this one. This is a fast paced thriller that grabs from the first page to the end. Dr. Rachel Venable is a physician who has a calling to treat patients around the world. Her estranged father, Carl, is CIA and when he is dying, he sends his co-worker Jude Brandon to look for Rachel in Guyana because he knows that she will be tracked down by a terrorist Max Huber. Rachel and Carl were responsible for his father's death. Brandon's job is to get Rachel and keep her safe. This starts an adventure of not only keeping Rachel safe but also trying to find the terrorist, Max Huber, and stopping his plans to do damage in San Francisco and get revenge on Rachel. This is a suspense filled adventure with a great cast of characters and an intense plot with bombs, kidnapping, poisons and cyber investigations with a little twist at the end that has me looking forward to the next book. There is a great group of side characters that enhance the story. I plan to go back and read more of the series. I received a complimentary ARC of the book from St. Martin's Press through NetGalley. Thoughts and opinions stated are mine only.
Vendetta – Iris Johansen I was fortunate to receive this novel from Netgalley.com as an Advance Reader Copy, in exchange for an objective review. On a mission gone bad, CIA Terrorism Task Force Leader Carl Venable, lies mortally wounded when found by fellow team member Jude Brandon. With his last breath, Carl implores Brandon to find and protect his daughter Rachel from terrorist Max Huber, who is hell bent on revenge, as he believes that Rachel killed his father. Rachel Venable is a physician with One World Medical, and is deep in the rain forests of Guyana, as they try to save village residents from the devastation of the Taran Virus, a mosquito borne illness. As traditional medicine has failed, Rachel has turned to her training as an herbalist in attempts to save an 8-year-old girl from certain death from the virus. Catherine Ling, CIA agent and long-time friend of Rachel Venable is also invested in keeping her friend safe. As word comes down that Max Huber may be enroute to the rain forest to take Rachel, she joins forces with an eclectic group of people whose objective is to keep Rachel safe and to shut down Red Star, Huber’s terrorist organization. When Rachel is evacuated from Guyana right under Huber’s grasp, he retaliates by kidnapping Maria, the 8-year-old child that Rachel was so desperately trying to save, promising to torture her if Rachel doesn’t come to him. He is also threatening a catastrophic terrorist act on US soil in the days to come. As Rachel, Brandon and Catherine and their group team up to identify the planned attack and stop Huber, Rachel prepares to stop at nothing to save Maria, and plans her own special surprise for her tormentor. But will they be able to stop him in time and bring Maria home safely?? I’ve been a huge fan of Ms. Johansen since the first Eve Duncan book as released, and that adoration continues! With Catherine Ling taking a small role, this could be considered another of the Ling series, or perhaps the start of yet another fabulous series starring Rachel Venable and Jude Brandon – at least that’s what this reader fervently hopes!! Great characters, lots of non-stop action, and not one, but two heroines!! Awesome read!!
Oh My. It’s been a while since I’ve read an Iris Johansen book and I was beyond thrilled when I saw Vendetta was available. I picked up the book with high expectations of being pulled into the story and reconnecting with characters. I was not disappointed. Iris Johansen pulled me in, took hold of me, and never let go until the very end of the book. The best part is that she left me excited for more of Catherine Ling without leaving me with a cliffhanger. While Vendetta is part of a series it is a stand-alone book. I was a little confused why the cover states that it is part of the Eve Duncan series where really this is part of the Catherine Ling story, with a very very small mention of Eve Duncan. Yet, the mention of Eve Duncan may have been what made me excited to pick up the book, the storyline is what kept me reading. Rachel Venable is a character that I loved getting to know. I loved learning about her history, her wit, and her smarts. She finds out her father has been killed and that she is now being wanted by the man who killed him. There is so much more to that story but I am not going to give away any spoilers. It was amazing how her friends and her father’s friends came to her defense and protected her. I loved how they became a family that she needed and didn’t hesitate to help her when needed and keep her safe when she wasn’t looking to do so herself. Iris Johansen is a must-read author for me. The Catherine Ling series is one that I enjoy and am excited to continue reading. I recommend picking up your own copies ASAP.
This book was awesome!!! I loved Rachel and hope to see more books about her in the future. Catherine and Hu Chang have always been some of my favorite characters and they were as amazing as always. This book kept me on the edge of my seat and the ending blew me away! Don’t hesitate to buy this book!
A suspenseful, fast-paced, action-packed thriller… This is the fifth book in the Catherine Ling series that can be read as a stand-alone. Not many have the wherewithal let alone the fortitude to exact vicious retribution against those who have crossed them or those they care about. When it becomes an obsession then it is a vendetta. For the villain in this story, it is his reality, nothing will prevent him from exacting the vengeance he seeks, plans that have been years in the making are close to culmination and many will die, including the daughter of the man who murdered his father. To find oneself the object of such a deadly obsession will test the fiber of one’s very being. Sometimes you have to make a choice to take action that goes against your core principles. That time has come for Rachel Venable, a doctor who swore an oath to help not injure, daughter of a man who headed a CIA terrorism task force. Her father’s past actions, taken to save lives, placed her in a dangerous situation and not for the first time. She survived brutal treatment once but can she survive again is in serious question considering the odds that are faced. This time she’s not alone, Jude Brandon and his military-trained team stand with her, sent by her father just before his death, and Brandon has reasons of his own to use Rachel to obtain his objectives. Though this book is in the Catherine Ling series, Catherine is more of a supporting character than the principle. She’s a CIA operative and a close friend to Rachel, both were mentored by the mysterious Hu Chang. Catherine is determined to protect her friend as much as she can but who will protect her from Richard Cameron whose interest has been captured by the transpiring global events. This book is aptly titled for vendetta is the theme woven throughout and for more than one character. This was a suspenseful, fast-paced, action-packed thriller with intelligent, strong, yet flawed characters; the plot had numerous intricately woven moving parts that constantly engaged the reader’s attention. There was much drama, personal choices needing to be made, and collateral damage from unexpected consequences. Romance brewed for more than one couple amid deadly secrets, conspiracies, betrayals, government agencies, and a global terrorist organization. This reader loved the ending possibility that perhaps should not have been surprising considering who it pertained to. The romance aspects were a bit overpowered by the astounding storyline but there was no denying the magnetic attraction that existed between each couple. An advanced reading copy was obtained from the publisher via NetGalley. 4.5 stars
4 Stars Review by Morgen Late Night Reviewer Up All Night w/ Books Blog Vendetta by New York Times best selling author, Iris Johansen is a standalone and a stunningly captivating thriller. It is a swiftly moving adventure that doesn’t pull punches. The story is about revenge, racing against the clock and the ever evolving truth that comes with a life full of secrets. Rachel Venable is a doctor with One World Medical. Her team brings medical aid to those in poor and war-torn countries often risking life and limb to do so. She is truly compassionate and caring and puts the needs of others above her own. She has been taught in the art of herbs and can brew potions to either heal or poison. She is brilliant, determined and stubborn. With the last few breaths he had before dying, Carl Venable, the head of the CIA task force on terrorism, gives Brandon a mission. His main objectives are to keep Rachel safe and utilize her vast skills and knowledge to assist in the take-down of the terrorist known as Huber. Huber’s violence and reach knows no bounds. Regretfully, Rachel is currently in his crosshairs. He believes he can use her to his advantage. Brandon must get his squad together to find her first and assist in his obsessive quest for revenge. This starts an adventure of epic proportions as they try to stay alive by being a few steps ahead of Huber. It’s not as easy as it seems. The book is written in third person which gives the reader a more extensive view of the scenes. The author smoothly switches from scene to scene and from character to character. My favorite part was that this is not a two person team. The squad is made up of fun and exciting characters I couldn’t wait to learn more about. The characters have a foundation that is built on naturally. The banter was fun to watch. The story is faced-paced, and takes the reader on a ride they’ll never want to end. The attention to detail is amazing. Rachel’s character has a lot of depth that I connected with. I couldn’t help but be intrigued and root for her. I loved her willpower and her inability to let anything keep her down. It was a roller coaster full of emotions and intrigue. The more you learned the more you needed to know. I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good crime thriller.
Although I am a big fan of Iris Johansen’s Eve Duncan series, this is the first book that features Catherine LIng that I have read. That being said, it will certainly not be my last since I thoroughly enjoyed this fast-paced romantic suspense. Catherine is a CIA agent and a friend of Rachel Venable, the target of mastermind terrorists leader Max Huber. Huber is the head of a cell called the Red Star and has planned a big explosion in San Francisco. Rachel and Catherine, along with Rachel’s bodyguard Jude Brandon, are tasked with stopping Huber from carrying out his terrorist plot and also keeping Rachel from falling into his hands. The action is fast-paced and non-stop with a lot of lies and secrets mixed in. There are several surprises in the plot along the way, so the readers will not be disappointed. My favorite character was Rachel. Although she was stubborn and determined to put herself into harm’s way in order to avenge her father, she was also a strong lead in the quest to stop Huber. Her romance with Brandon seemed to be emphasized a little too much for me because it distracted from all of the action with Huber,. Readers of romantic suspense will definitely want to read this latest book by Johansen with her trademark explosive finale and twisted villains. Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”