4 stars out of 5
Generally speaking, I'm a start-at-the-beginning kind of reader when it comes to books in a series. So when I was offered a chance to read an advance copy of this one (the fourth in a series featuring security specialist and private investigator Jamie Sinclair) in exchange for an honest review, I hesitated - but only for a moment. Simply put, the description just sounded too intriguing to pass it up.
And happy to say, I made a good decision. I still stand by my general advice that it's better to get in on any series from the start, but I certainly didn't feel left out with this one, which stands on its own just fine.
Jamie is an interesting character in and of herself; the daughter of a former military bigwig turned powerful state senator, she's got an ex-husband and in this book, two hunky guys falling all over her (reminiscent of Stephanie Plum, the Janet Evanovich character who, even after all these years, is torn between two lovers, as the old song goes). Truth is, that waffling back and forth - particularly since it's coming from an otherwise strong, extremely independent woman - never fails to get on my nerves in that series, and it does here as well. But a fast-moving plot loaded with knock-down, drag-out action made up for it by grabbing and holding my attention throughout.
At the beginning, Jamie seems to have settled on one of the hunks - military police officer Adam Barrett. He's stationed in Beauville, Mississippi, where Ray Walther, who took a chance by hiring Jamie at his PI firm years ago, is located. Now, she's got her own investigative firm near Washington, D.C., but she's flying down to the coast in hopes of hooking up with Adam as well as seeing her mentor (and her close friend, Ray's pregnant wife, Corinne) again.
To say things don't go as planned would be an understatement. At the git-go, as Jamie and Adam try to get away from a mandatory military party on a riverboat, a dirty bomb explodes. Because they had fled the boring party and headed for privacy on another deck, they escaped the brunt of the blast in which several were killed. But then, Jamie catches a glimpse of the bomber and recognizes him. Her desire to get to the bottom of things - and Adam's military responsibilities to that same end - put an instant kabosh on romance and set the pair on an investigation fraught with danger.
Enter Marc - the other hunka-hunka who also is part of the investigation, and the romantic tension begins to build. As for the case, the more Jamie learns, the more she suspects some kind of connection between the bomb and her former mentor, his new partner and even his wife. Are their lives in danger? Or could any or all of them (gasp!) be involved in a more sinister way? The chase is on complete with wrong turns and dead ends, and Jamie, Adam and Marc find themselves fighting not only for the lives of her friends, but their own as well.
Conclusion? Very enjoyable, and I've already put the next installment of this series on my to-watch-for list.
The Kill Sign: A Jamie Sinclair Novel by Nicole Christoff (Alibi, December 2016).