Monday, March 20, 2017

Law and Disorder - Heather Graham (HI #1689 - Feb 2017)

Series: Finnegan Connection (Book 1)

Trust the enemy?

Desperate to escape her kidnappers, Kody Cameron can turn to only one man…and he's holding a gun. Outnumbered and trapped in the deadly Everglades, she has little recourse, but something in this captor's eyes makes her believe she can trust him. Does she dare to take the risk?

Undercover agent Nick Connolly has met Kody before and knows she might very well blow his cover. Though determined to maintain his facade, he can't let Kody die. He won't. And his decision to change his own rules of law and order are about to make all hell break loose.

Good book. Kody is home in Florida for a couple weeks before starting her new play in New York. She is stunned to be taken at gunpoint by a man in the mask of an old time gangster, and even more so to discover that her family's museum has been taken over by a gang of them. The leader of the gang is convinced that she knows where a decades old stash of jewels and money is, and wants her to lead them to it. Kody is scared, but determined to do what she must to protect the other hostages. Oddly enough, one of the gang seems to have the same intent, a man whose eyes seem strangely familiar.

Nick has been working undercover for about three weeks. He is with an FBI unit in New York who has been tracking "Dillinger" for months, trying to get the evidence they need to arrest him. Nick and Kody briefly encountered each other at a mutual friend's pub in New York. Nick is worried that Kody will recognize him and blow his cover.

That brief encounter had sparked an instant attraction. It was still there, though Kody was confused at first by the attraction she felt to a criminal. He was protective of them, and had moments when he was nice to her, but he was a criminal! If Nick hadn't been sent off for the undercover mission, he would have asked Kody out. He hasn't been able to get her out of his mind, but this isn't the way he wanted to meet her again. I liked the way that he appreciated her protectiveness for her friends and the intelligence with which she approached her situation. I enjoyed his fight to keep in character and not give in to the attraction. I loved Nick's quick action to ask her out once they were out of the swamp, and Kody's own pursuit of what she wanted. I liked their frank talk about how their careers have affected past relationships and what they want from this one. I loved the ending, with Kody having her big moment with friends and family there. Nick had his a little later, and I liked the hint of vulnerability there. I hope to see more of them in a later book.

The action is intense from the beginning as Dillinger and his people hold hostages to ensure that their demands are met. He is constantly on edge and making threats against Kody and the hostages. Nick has to play things very cautiously, keeping to his criminal persona while at the same time trying to keep them alive. Kody is pretty feisty for a captive and pushes the envelope by being somewhat confrontational with Dillinger. Her reasons are good, as she wants to ensure the safety of her friends and guests, and she's pretty sure they won't hurt her until they get what they want. There are several times when Nick isn't sure how they'll get out of it. Nick could have shot Dillinger and ended things, but he discovered that a little boy had also been kidnapped and hidden as "insurance" and he has to discover the boy's whereabouts before that happens.

The danger changes when the action moves from the house to the Everglades. Dillinger is becoming more intense and unpredictable. Besides having to deal with the criminals, there are also environmental dangers to contend with, such as alligators, crocodiles and snakes. There's some heart-pounding action as Nick and Kody manage to escape, but while they are safe Dillinger has disappeared. Just when Kody and Nick think they are safe, he reappears. I loved Kody's presence of mind here as she attempts to contribute to her rescue. The final confrontation was terrific as Kody's contribution, along with Nick's actions finally bring him down. 

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