Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that have been waiting on the ‘to be read’ pile for however long, and are finally getting an airing.
My pick for this week is the first in a three book serialised story. Dangerous Games was first published in 2015 and is a debut novel.
Ex FBI Special Agent Maggie Kincaid was one of the top hostage negotiators until a situation went badly wrong and a hostage was lost. That, coupled with her devastating past, proved too much and Maggie felt she’d failed and couldn’t carry on with the job. Then her former boss and mentor, Frank, persuades her to help with a new case. A senator’s teenage daughter has been kidnapped. Maggie agrees as long as it’s clear she doing Frank a favour and not rejoining the Bureau.
Jake O’Connor, ex military, now a security specialist, has been brought into the case by Senator Thebes as a consultant and advisor. Although he and Maggie clash initially they both agree something doesn’t quite add up. The senator knows more than he’s letting on and neither of them can understand why he’s holding back when his daughter’s life is in danger.
‘Nice try, Goldilocks,’ he said. ‘You’re not my boss – the senator is. So you’re stuck with me, unless you want to argue with him instead of spending this time searching for his kid.’
Maggie frowned. he was right, dammit. She didn’t have the time to extricate this jerk herself – and she wasn’t sure she could convince the senator to send him away. More likely she’s just piss Thebes off, and he’d put O’Connor in charge – or worse, Jackson Dutton. She was stuck with both of them.
Maggie is an interesting character, damaged and flawed by the loss of her sister, compounded by her last hostage negotiation which left her uncertain and insecure. And although her past experiences help make her excel at her job she is still suffering the effects. The story is well written and the plot tight. I wasn’t quite convinced that Maggie would be brought in to head such a sensitive case after a two-year absence. It’s not clear what she was doing during that period but she is still suffering after her experiences. There is chemistry between Maggie and Jake and it’s a given they’ll have a professional as well as a personal relationship.
The storyline is very emotional, suspenseful and believable, the writing engaging. I didn’t see the plot twist but did feel a little deflated when the book ended on such a cliff hanger. It seems the story is divided into three short books, each a little over 100 pages. Initially I thought Dangerous Games was a novella introducing the characters in the following books, and would be a complete story. The good thing is all the books are available so no waiting for the next instalment.
When a Senator’s daughter goes missing, every minute counts. The FBI’s best hostage negotiator, Agent Kincaid, knows what it’s like to be a terrified victim. Kidnapped as a child, those memories haunt her every day – and give her an insight into the evil mind behind this deadly crime.
But the Senator’s family has other plans, and have brought in ex-forces security expert Jake O’Connor to oversee negotiations. He’s got secrets of his own, and doesn’t play by the same rule book. With time running out, Maggie and O’Connor will have to overcome their differences to keep this case from ending in tragedy.