It has been ages since I read a book by Suzanne Brockmann. It’s an utter delight to read another one of her Troubleshooters books, I thought she was done with this series. So I requested this book from NetGalley and I am delighted to give this review. The reasons why I loved this book:
- It’s written by Suzanne Brockmann
- It’s another installment in her Troubleshooters series
- SB’s unique writing style. I’d forgotten how rambling and long her sentences are, then realized her style is similar to JR Ward, then realized that SB is the Ward’s mentor and idol, so of course they are similar.
- It involves yummy Navy Seals, enough said
- Some of the gang appear in this book, namely Izzy, Eden, Lindsey Jenkins, Adam, the gorgeous gay Hollywood actor, and other new to me Seals that work with Peter.
The action in this book consists of a chase. Lieutenant Peter Green has recently acquired custody of his fifteen year old daughter, her mother having recently died. He jumps in the car of Shayla Whitman in front of the high school where Shayla had just left one of her sons. He had just seen his daughter, who was missing since the previous day, get into a car and leave the area. Shayla and Peter run off after the car and persecute it for some miles into a shopping mall’s parking garage. Maddie, the daughter, was not found with the two guys in the car, so Peter and Shayla return to the school and try to retrace Maddie’s steps. Shayla is a great resource for Peter because: 1) she’s a mom; 2) she’s a romance book writer and her mind is a brilliant place to behold.
The whole book is taken with the persecution/search for Maddie. Shayla took photos of the car and the two guys, so they start to investigate that, searching for all clues that may help them find out why Maddie went missing. No stone is left unturned, yet the search for Maddie leads them in a merry chase all over South California. In an attempt to contact Maddie, who had blocked Peter in her cellphone, Shayla helps Peter write a story about how he met her mother Lisa and fell in love with her. They send her daily installments and Shayla begs Maddie to connect via text to inform that she’s safe They suspect part of the reason Maddie stays hidden from her father is that she doesn’t know him and doesn’t trust him. So they try to establish why he had been absent from her life for so long and that he does want to help her. So the daily installments of the Peter and Lisa story give us the back story, and feels like a flashback, but better and less confusing. This author is brilliant handling flashback scenes.
Shayla falls in love with Peter because he is honorable and reliable, very different from her ex. Peter falls in love with Shayla because of her writer’s brain. I loved that he fell in love with a woman because of her beautiful mind, not her physical beauty, although it’s stated that she is attractive. Another thing I loved is that this is an inter-racial relation. It’s very unstated in the book but Peter is blond and blue-eyed, while Shayla has “beautiful brown skin and warm brown eyes”. Maddie is of American-Japanese descent, from her mother’s side. Her last name is Nakamura, which I loved. Her grand-aunt, Hiroto, which is a great character in this book, had been interned in Manzanar, one of the camps for Americans of Japanese descent, during World War II. This was a brilliant piece of American history and greatly added to the color of the story.
As per Maddie, I found her immature, sullen and stubborn. She was framed in a drug deal gone bad by her friend Fiona, who promptly disappeared, and she was running to find her and the money that was owed. She was with this guy called Dingo, a California boy with a fake Australian accent, who was easily dominated and ordered around by Maddie. Dingo was also honorable because once he found out Maddie’s age, he kept her at a distance and helped her without taking advantage of her vulnerability.
So it’s a story that has a lot of elements that could have been a hot mess of confusion but instead was a brilliant mix of different cultures, different living styles and people with one good purpose: give a hand to a friend in need. The generosity and helpfulness of this group of friends make me wish to meet them and get included in their tight group.