Book #15 in the Troubleshooter series
Reviewed by Marisa O’Neill
Short Review: Hot Pursuit t is the latest book in the Troubleshooter series. For me that was enough to go out and buy the book. What? That’s not enough for you? OK then, read the long review.
Long Review: I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m a huge fan of Suzanne Brockmann’s romantic suspense books, particularly her Troubleshooter Series. I will also say that while I eagerly await each new book in the series (I purchase the hard covers), I read each book with extremely high expectations and however unfair that might be, I expect these books to be great. There, I said it out loud, that’s what I want. So, after picking up Hot Pursuit, I sat down and read it cover to cover in one sitting, and it was great. In all honesty I’m not sure if it was great because, well, I love the way Ms. Brockmann writes, or because the book is centered on two beloved characters – Sam Starrett and Alyssa Locke. What ever the reason, and I suspect it might take me a re-read to discover the answer, I fell in love with her characters as I always do. For me Hot Pursuit, as in all of Brockmann’s books, is about the characters; the characters drive the train. The mystery to be solved is interesting, yes, but again, its how the characters relate to each other and how they attack the ‘mission’ that is intriguing.
In Hot Pursuit, we find Alyssa Locke and her husband Sam Starrett in New York for an easy assignment. Both Alyssa and Sam are employees of Troubleshooters Inc., one of the best private security companies in the world. It seems a New York State Assemblywoman has been receiving serious hate mail and it’s up to Alyssa and her team to teach the Assembylwoman and her staff some simple self-defense techniques and beef up their office security. Sounds simple. In fact Sam and Alyssa take their young son along thinking perhaps they’ll get in some sightseeing in New York while they are there. Of course sightseeing is definitely taken off the menu when an old serial killing nemesis called The Dentist goes gunning for Alyssa and young women are being murdered.
Hot Pursuit brings back many characters from this much beloved bestselling series, in particular Navy SEAL’s, Izzy, Tony, Lopez and Gillman. Jules Cassidy and his husband, actor Robin Chadwick, are also prominently featured. Ah, it’s like coming home, the joy of getting re-acquainted with much loved characters. And that is the beauty of this series, as a reader, you can always go home again, and it’s a welcoming place. Ms. Brockmann has a unique way of allowing her characters to grow and change and we still end up loving them, warts and all. With each new book, with each new character, we still want to know what’s happening to the rest of the Troubleshooters and Navy SEAL’s she’s introduced to us over the years. So yes, Sam and Alyssa, two characters that have been with us almost from the beginning have gone from an adversarial relationship, to lovers, to partners, to husband and wife to parents. And we’ve had the great good fortune to experience their journey. In each successive book you see the respect and love they have for each other and the work that goes into their relationship. Being able to have this relationship evolve book after book while keeping the characters interesting, the story line fresh and the suspense suspenseful is the work of an author who not only knows her characters but knows how to tell a great story.
As per usual, it wouldn’t be a Troubleshooter’s book without the introduction of new characters. Ms. Brockmann invariably has at least two romantic story lines going at one time, with 2 different heroes and 2 different heroines. She always appeases us by giving us at least one happy ending. Thank goodness. Of course, that leaves us with one Hero and Heroine who have unfinished business. And Ms. Brockmann is never predictable, because you never know when or if that hero or heroine you’ve come to know and perhaps grown to love will get their happy ending. (For you fans, need I mention Decker and Sophia in Dark of Night? – wasn’t that both a shock and a delicious, unexpected, well worth the wait surprise?). In Hot Pursuit we get to meet Jenn, the Assemblywoman’s assistant. She’s not your drop dead gorgeous heroine, she’s a regular size 12 gal, who’s a bit too tall, most likely shops at Marshall’s and wears glasses. Her hero is the unlikely and very handsome Navy SEAL Gillman. With his own internal issues and struggles he’s all about expiration dating, that his until The Dentist gets in his space and it gets personal. Both story lines, Sam and Alyssa the established couple that have a child, and Jenn and Gillman the new couple out for 14 days of great sex, ring true – the dialogue between them and the words left unsaid give all four of these people a believability. Giving them this believability gives you a desire as a reader to know more about them.
So dear reader, if you’re looking for a romantic suspense that is filled with characters that are not only personable but down to earth real, with great dialogue and a sense of coming home to characters you already love or will meet for the first time and begin to love, with a spot on narrative and a suspenseful mystery, might I suggest Hot Pursuit.