Fatal Strike

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 03 Nov 2019

Member Reviews

Fatal Strike by Diann Mills is an exhilarating read. When high profile people start dying around Galveston in uniquely gruesome ways, it is up to the FBI to find the culprit before it is too late. Could it be gang involvement? Diann Mills' latest book is an exciting read from start to finish.  The characters are well developed and there are many components to the resolution of this story. I love the variety of characters in this book-- from FBI agents, to a priest, to judges, to dentists, to gang members-- it was such a varied cast of characters and I really found this interesting. I recommend this novel for anyone who enjoys law enforcement suspense. I received a digital copy of this book from the author with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.
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FATAL STRIKE is one of those stories that invites the reader into the investigation as the characters try to find a murderer. It's a methodical search of interviews and facts that slowly ramps up in intensity towards the climatic conclusion. Inspirational romantic suspense readers will enjoy this one.

This story starts off really well with an intense standoff scene between police and a house invasion. Two FBI agents who are snipers are called in to help in case the police can't work out a peaceful resolution. From there the story slows quite a bit. The characters begin an investigation on another case and only get pieces of the puzzle for most of the book. There is a feeling of constant tension and danger, but there is also a light romance that begins to creep up between the two main characters.

The dialogue was really choppy in the story, which I'm pretty sure is this author's writing style. Lots of short sentences and fast talking between her characters. The romance was sweet, but I didn't feel a lot of chemistry between the characters because it just happens. The author writes those scenes like she does the rest. Short and factual. I didn't get any lead-up to the kisses or any pauses for the emotions besides a few mentions. Of course the romance is not the point of the story, so that's okay. The suspense aspect was steady and also interesting. Some things did't work for me and some things felt implausible (including FBI procedures), but otherwise the plot worked for me. There were also a few things that were tied up too perfectly. Stories tend to feel more genuine when there are a few loose ends or the characters still have some things to work through.

In the end, was it what I wished for? I enjoyed reading this. It was exciting and intriguing enough to hold my interest and I liked the characters. I'm definitely willing to grab future titles from this author.

Content: Violence, but applicable to the story.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the tour host/NetGalley, which did not require a positive review nor affect it in any way.
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Fatal Strike has was one of the most inventive plots I've seen in a while. Snake venom as the murder weapon (and that's not a spoiler)!

When you add in a family in tatters, two agents falling in love and greatest fears being faced, you have yourself a page-turner.

DiAnn Mills says to "expect and adventure" and this certainly was a wild one. I particularly liked not being able to figure out who the baddie was, until very near the end.
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In Fatal Strike, author DiAnn Mills transports the reader to Galveston, Texas for an intriguing Christian Fiction / Romantic Suspense story that will keep the reader guessing and turning the pages.

With the murder of three law enforcement officials in Galveston comes a request for FBI assistance. FBI Agents Leah Riesel and Jon Colbert are partnered together to investigate the murders and the possible ties to the Veneno gang, whose mantra is "reconquista" a returning of Texas to Mexico. Their murderous calling card is killing a person with rattlesnake venom injected into their heart. Can Leah and Jon figure out the motives for these high-profile murders before another fatal strike occurs?

Author DiAnn Mills weaves a fast-paced and suspenseful tale written in the third person narrative that follows FBI Agents Leah Riesel and Jon Colbert's investigative mission to find the murderers and bring them to justice . With a lot of gang activity, investigative methods, and a high stakes pursuit, Leah and Jon are determined to get justice before another fatal strike occurs.

I loved reading this action-packed story. Leah and Jon kept me intrigued as they investigated the murders of the three law enforcement officials. The reader will be easily drawn into this well written story with its richly descriptive plot that will keep them guessing as secrets, possible motives, and clues are uncovered during the investigation. I loved the intertwining of Leah and Jon's methodical procedural investigation with the unexpected attraction that sparked between them, their banter was humorous, and they worked really well as a team.

Fatal Strike has enough drama, tension, action, dark secrets, a touch of romance, and unexpected twists and turns that will take the reader on one heck of a thrilling roller coaster ride.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest book review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours.

https://jerseygirlbookreviews.blogspot.com/2019/09/fatal-strike-by-diann-mills-vbt-book.html
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I have read Mills books for years and love them.  She is in her element with her romantic suspense books.  In this fast paced, page turner, Mills shows why she has been publishing books for years.  She leaves you guessing to the end, which is what makes the books so fun to read.  You will be wondering who is the good guy and can you trust them.
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Loved this new story by DiAnn Mills!!
I have read every one of this author's books because her style of writing!!
DiAnn's books are just superfab!! I highly recommend her.
She fascinates me with this new set of characters named Jon and Leah
I love it that they are no nonesense snipers that know how to get the job done.
I love that they keep no secrets and discuss everything.  
Oh and did I mention they have great chemistry together?
If you love suspenseful books then this is sure to satisfy your appetite. It did mine! This is a book that has of course suspense, mystery and romance all rolled into one.
My thanks to the author for this book. No compensations were received. All opinions are my own
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Two snipers team up to uncover who is behind a string of murders but multiple suspects, wrong turns, and possible gang involvement keep Leah and Jon (and readers) on their toes in Fatal Strike. DiAnn Mills doesn’t give readers time to take a breath once they pick up this romantic suspense novel.

I appreciated that Leah and Jon discussed whatever was on their minds. They communicated like the adults and professionals they are. While they both have fears and regrets they’ve run from for too long, the case makes both partners face them head-on.

Even the supporting characters were well-rounded. And so many of them have secrets, it’s no wonder the FBI agents find it challenging to solve their investigation.

Leah and Jon’s romance flows naturally into the storyline, and I loved that they could tease each other but also had each other’s back’s when required. Mills also weaves a faith thread into this story in such an organic way, the book would feel incomplete without it.

Disclosure statement:
I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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With a combination of FBI Snipers, murder using rattlesnake venom, and a budding romance, DiAnn Mills has crafted a thriller fans will not want to miss. 

Galveston is being hit by a new kind of killer using rattlesnake venom for murder. A local gang called the Veneno is the prime suspect and the FBI calls in agents Leah Riesel and Jon Colbert to tackle the case. They have a witness that saw a body being left on a church doorstep but soon disappears. Without their witness, they don’t have much of a case. No one around is willing to help without the fear of being the next victim and the more Leah and Jon dig, the darker the motives become.  The more secrets they uncover, the more they have to face fears they didn’t even know they had. 

DiAnn Mills says to expect an adventure with her books and that is definitely what readers will get with this book. The premise is gripping: death by snake venom, no thanks! My mind was reeling with what could be coming as I turned the pages.  Leah and Jon had a great story, I really connected with them and the feelings they developed for each other over the course of the story. The ending kept me guessing, which I love in a suspense novel.  I don’t want to be able to figure everything out quickly, I like those little surprises and DiAnn Mills always exceeds my expectations. 

I have always enjoyed DiAnn Mills books and know I am going to get a great story. Fatal Strike was a really good story, but certain aspects of this story fell short for me. Leah had the ability to be a great female lead but the way her backstory was written didn’t resonate with me. If you take that out of the story, readers will have a heart pounding thrill ride. This is not my favorite novel Mills has written but it was still a very enjoyable read and one I recommend to readers that enjoy a good romantic suspense novel with a great romance and a story line that will keep you up thinking late into the night.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.
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Fatal Strike by DiAnn Mills is another example of why she is a bestselling author. Oh My! I am not sure where to start- how she literally made me gasp at one point or one of the best sniper/ officer partnerships I have read in a while.Both Leah and John are snipers and have a past that they are trying to overcome.

It was a great view into the life of a child sibling of adoption and special needs. She was dealing with her action and feelings from that and trying to make up for it. I loved that she was so good at her job. You cannot help but like her.

John is a great character. I loved their banter in the car. And their honesty about working together. It was a slow building romance that fit them perfectly.

The main storyline is that they are trying to find out who has killed a judge, lawyer and police officer. A gang is taking credit for it. Who is the killer and why are they killing them. Admittedly you will probably figure out who the main killer is at the end. But don’t be disappointed. DiAnn still has some surprises in store for you when you least expect it.

I really enjoyed how the author took us through the research and interviews and the brainstorming of who, what and why was this happening. You were right along with the characters trying to figure it out. There were several characters that you just were not sure about. Why were they lying or withholding info. There are several characters in the book only a couple were hard for me to keep up with.

From a deeper perspective DiAnn beautifully and heartbreakingly displays the love of a parent to their child. How far will they go to help their child? And will they love them no matter what they do. On a different note, both of the lead characters are learning about God and whether to trust Him.

I highly recommend the book. I really think you will enjoy the characters and their banter and budding relationship. And if you enjoy suspense you are going to love it. Clear your calendar.

Sexual content - 1 kissing
Violence - the book opens with the snipers called to help with a scene. There are a few deaths, kidnappings,

I received this book from Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review.
You can see my full review at More Than a Review dot com where I rate the level of sex, violence, language and drug/alcohol use in books.
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Fatal Strike as been gifted to me in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Right from the beginning of the opening scene I knew that I was going to really love this book. We open on an action packed scene meeting our two main characters that kept me intrigued right from the first page. 

We open up with a really intense scene that got me intrigued the moment I start reading. Fatal Strike follows a slow burning investigation which I like because it shows that both detectives are doing their jobs and bring the criminal to justice. We don’t normally see the intricate details of an investigation in books very often. 

I really loved this story and learning all about these characters. In Fatal Strike we see small hints of attraction and romance between our characters which is really sweet and a great comic relief between violent scenes. 

At times throughout the story I found myself thinking this story is going to get boring but I was so wrong. Each time the story began to slow down something unexpected popped up which peaks interest and made me to continue reading. 

This story truly caught me by surprise and the many twists and turns this story took truly shocked me. I did not see any of it coming!
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A pair of FBI agents partner up to investigate a string of murders involving law enforcement officials. They have never worked together before, and but fall into a professional rhythm to work the case. What ensues is a police-procedural-type story involving a gang that kills with rattlesnake venom, a mother desperately trying to protect her son, missing persons, faith, trust, and a few interesting turns thrown in.

I read this book in 2 days, and really enjoyed it. The main characters, Leah & Jon, were smart, compassionate, and professional. They both had back stories that provided depth without being overly emo and cliched. And both had phobias that they were determined to overcome, and that they had the chance to face in the book.

I liked the way the case unfolded, with some developments that kept me guessing. I did figure out who the kingpin was, but wasn't bothered by figuring it out in advance. In fact, I remember thinking that if didn't go that way, I was going to question some of the author's choices. There were a couple of smaller elements that were presented that seemed to be left hanging, but they didn't bother me too much. I also had a very difficult time following the action in the climax, and didn't understand why some of the things happened.

Some of the dialog seemed kind of stilted, especially between the main characters. Most of the time I couldn't really tell who was talking, because they were so similar to each other. I'm not sure that's a fault in the characterization, because it was clear from the beginning that they WERE similar, so maybe it was an issue with dialog tags and narration as much as anything. I also did not care for the kingpin's dialog near the end of the book. It made him seem a lot less intelligent and dastardly than I think he was supposed to be. 

The romance is a slow-burn, which is my favorite type. The characters are completely respectful of each other and of their situation (partners working a case), and the romance that develops between them is understated, almost to a point of coming from out of left field, but I prefer a little bit of a leap to the in-your-face type of romances.

And finally, the Christian aspect is well-presented. Most of the faith that is presented in the book comes from a priest who is involved in the investigation. He is wise and insightful, and even clearly shown to be a human with some flaws, but kind and devoted. Through this influence, as well as some others, both of the main characters individually begin to examine their belief in God and what it might mean for them.

Overall, I enjoyed this fast-paced read and would recommend it to all fans of suspense or crime dramas, with a little faith thrown in.
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I read a LOT of suspense/romantic suspense novels, but I have to say right from the start Fatal Strike struck me as different than most of those. Where often those novels feature a main hero and well, we'll say damsel for lack of better term (though not always a completely accurate descriptor either), this romance was between two FBI agents. As such, the crime aspect seemed to really focus more on the investigation--- reminding me very much of the fantastic procedural type TV shows that so many enjoy. I thought this was a great change--- and while I cannot say I know much of anything about the inside working of a murder investigation, I felt like this seemed very well researched. I certainly believed it. I really enjoyed that aspect of the story.

But I do always love a good romance. This one was a sweet romance, but quite subtle too. It was certainly there and a focus of the story, but I really did feel like the crime was at the forefront of the story at all times. 

Fatal Strike had a lot going on...a whole cast of characters who all seemed to be keeping secrets, making it difficult to figure out the whodunnit. I will say at times it was a little confusing trying to keep up with who was who with so many names to recall, but I liked that it kept me guessing too. Just when I thought I'd start to figure it out, more secrets would be revealed having me second guessing everything I'd read and assumed up to that point. There were a few places throughout that did seem a bit rushed, but overall it was a really great story that kept me on the edge of my seat!

If you love a good romantic suspense, Fatal Strike is certainly one to check out! 

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own.
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Fatal Strike is an excellent example of DiAnn Mills’ fast-paced plots, which are chock full of twists and turns. This is a tightly-written tale – the dialogue is crisp and every scene is purposeful.
The storyline is complex, taking on gang violence (with a really creative method of murder) and illegal drugs. The book hurtles along at a fast pace with all of Mills’ trademark misdirection and twists. I think the biggest difference in this book was the layers of misdirection – it felt like everyone has a secret or something to hide, and no one was quite who they seemed.  The main characters, too, are real and complex – smart and professional, but carrying their own baggage. 

This book falls into the Christian category, but the treatment here leaned more  philosophical and spiritual than preachy. Father Gabriel’s steadfast convictions and faith in his work are at odds at times with the work the FBI agents are trying to do, but he is unwavering. He is a fascinating and complicated character.

This was a hard-to-put-down and enjoyable read. If you like layered, suspenseful police procedurals with a touch of romance, this is the book for you!
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DiAnn Mills delivers another smashing hit with Fatal Strike. Two FBI snipers, Leah Riesel and Jon Colbert, start the story off when they are assigned together for the first time to take down a criminal in true sniper fashion. Despite both agents' reluctance to give up the driver's seat in their new partnership, they get along quite well, and they are immediately plunged into another deadly case. While the physical attraction between these two is mutual, their relationship is first and foremost based on trust and respect. They are battling past mistakes and fears, making them both hesitant to even contemplate a serious relationship.

After that first heart-pounding scene, the chapters that follow slowly build into an interesting and unique story of a Galveston community besieged by illegal prescription drugs, deception, betrayal, and murder by rattlesnake venom. The spiritual/Christianity aspect is moderate as both main characters grapple with self-forgiveness and faith, adding a thought-provoking layer to their character development. The overall pace of the story picks up considerably as the two agents inch closer to the truth and closer to discovering the identities of the real culprits behind all the murder and illegal activity. DiAnn Mills does a fantastic job of stringing the reader along without revealing too much too soon.

The two main characters, Leah and Jon, are well developed and likable. Jon's easy going personality and daily gift of a steaming cup of coffee for Leah set the bar pretty high for a leading man. Leah's love for Steampunk decor automatically makes her a favorite in my book.

All levity aside, a few serious themes set the tone for the overall story: handling the often tumultuous relationship between parents and adult children, facing and overcoming fears and phobias, and opening the heart to forgiveness and new beginnings. The action is not always nonstop in Fatal Strike, which gives the reader time to breathe in between the high-impact activity, unexpected twists, and a scene that had me mentally cowering in a corner. The author’s ability to elicit such heart-pounding emotion makes Fatal Strike a slam dunk.

Fatal Strike is a must read for any fan of soft romance with a high dose of intriguing mystery, all presented through well-written prose and impressive characterization.
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FBI Agents Leah Riesel and Jon Colbert are tasked with bringing down the killer who is on the loose in Galveston, injecting their victims with poisonous venom. 



Their best lead runs cold when their main suspect goes into hiding, and the murders halt. 



Can they pick up the threads of a case that seems to have gone cold and bring the killer to justice. 



This engaging suspense is a slow burn, but don't let that fool you, this riveting read still packs a mighty punch. The arc of the story follows the steps of the investigation, as Leah and Jon work together to solve the mystery, learning about each other as they work the case. The reader is left to guess right along with Jon and Leah, as they interview suspects, follow leads, and learn to appreciate each other's strengths and weaknesses. 



Leah and Jon are both alpha types who are used to taking the lead, and don't put up with nonsense, with an unswerving dedication to their jobs. Leah has worked hard to earn the respect of her peers, and hates showing any vulnerabilities. Jon is a natural leader, confident and comfortable with listening to other ideas. As they work together they find a unique friendship, that lets them let down their guards in a way they never have before. Jon has been thinking more and more about his faith since a tragic accident that ended his previous career.



Overall, an engaging read with great character development and excellent pacing. Even though they aren't dodging bullets every chapter, this book is no less riveting and captures the ups and downs of following a lead, all laying the groundwork for an explosive conclusion. Highly recommend this well crafted read, compelling, romantic, suspenseful, with great themes of faith and characters that you can cheer for!



I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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This is the first book that I read by DiAnn Mills and it did not disappoint my mystery/suspense needs! I was wary at first that this book was part of a series (I find most mysteries are), but was happy to see that it wasn't (yet?). Right off the bat, I was sucked into the story of Leah and Jon working together on a hostage situation only to be then flipped into a larger murder plot involving the Veneno gang. I found Mills' writing to be clear, flowed smoothly, and fast-paced while still being detailed and thought-provoking. I knew she had me when I read that detail about Leah's phobia (My background is in Clinical Psychology - it's like catnip for me). 

Mills' does a fantastic job with her characters. I love to read stories that involve strong women and I had exactly that with characters such as Leah and Mrs. Mendez. These are strong characters that still maintain their empathy and emotion. The concept that one can be both fierce and feeling is always wonderful to read. At the same time, however, I thought it most intriguing to "hear" Leah's innermost thoughts - especially when they involved her dictating her reactions. She allows only as much emotion as she wants to in her speech - a controlled habit that found me wondering about her background. Mills' writing for her characters is definitely something to be admired. 

Readers of suspense, thrillers, and mysteries should definitely pick up this book. Mills has taken much care into her story, weaving it together in such a way that the reader has no choice but to keep turning the pages. I look forward to reading more from her in the future!
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DiAnn Mills has done it again!  Warning: reading this book may interfere with your sleep.  This fast-paced suspenseful thriller will keep you furiously turning pages to see what happens next. FBI snipers Leah and Jon work together to solve the murders of victims injected with rattlesnake venom.  They deal with real life issues of fear and faith as they struggle through the gruesome task of finding the murderer.  I highly recommend Fatal Strike by DiAnn Mills.
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Following a string of recent and prominent murders using snake venom that has the calling card of a local gang infiltration, a team of FBI agents, led by a highly trained sniper duo, descend on Galveston to deescalate the threat and bring justice to the victims. Tensely woven from the opening sequence, the story was incredibly fast-paced and set a desperate tone to find the answers to what has set a community on edge. 

"Her faith will be her strength or weakness."

As Jon and Leah set out to seek the truth behind these horrible crimes, their detective work picks up the pace and so too does the mutual attraction felt between them. Despite their tough exteriors, both are fragile individuals, yet it is through their weaknesses that their strengths can shine. Each carries quite a bit of baggage, making them reluctant to get too close, yet as the circumstances unfold it becomes harder and harder to deny the feelings developing between them. I appreciate the light romance aspects of the story that take backstage to the importance of professionalism. Additionally, I am such a fan of how the author is able to balance the very real human characteristics of grit and grace in such a gentle and admirable way. Leah's job as a sniper doesn't make her any less feminine than her best friend who has a house full of children. Jon's questioning of faith doesn't make him a hypocrite. The author is able to masterfully showcase both spiritual and social messages throughout the story while also using them to make connections to the plot.

"People aren't perfect. Just because they have faith doesn't mean they don't make mistakes."

I love that these characters are so well developed and relatable. From the criminals committing the crimes to the high ranking officials within law enforcement seeking justice, everyone has something to hide. These secrets not only draw out the investigation, but also make it quite difficult to know who to actually trust! And as with any good mystery, you'll be led astray by the fantastically placed red herrings a few times along the way before the shocking truth is discovered. 

This suspenseful crime drama is action-packed with very little down time! Even the dialogue is short, sweet, and to the point! Insightful storytelling makes this an entertaining and engaging read that should not be missed! I can't wait for the next one!
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“Jon scooted back the chair and walked outside onto the front porch. He shoved his hands into his jean pockets and looked up at the millions of stars. Somebody designed the universe and put them into place, a Being much smarter than Jon.”

Fatal Strike is a wildfire book that kept my interest piqued from chapter to chapter. Solving murders in real life is hard enough, solving murders in Fatal Strike was even more challenging.

Mills crafted a well-plotted story around the murder of three prominent Galveston, Texas residents.  Where does the story lead? Oh, my!

Leah and Jon, snipers who choose to protect lives when no one else can, are assigned to investigate the murder of a Galveston Judge. What entails from the very first chapter unfolds visually, almost like a movie.

I love and have visited Galveston many times. Mills inserted authentic touches of the town making the story more easily envisioned. Even though there is a whole slew of characters, Mills’s writing is genius in that you remember who is who throughout the book.

Naturally, as a reader, I made a lot of guesses about where the plot was going. That is another talent Mills has – your guesses are likely going to be wrong. That is where the cleverness of Fatal Strike lies. It will keep you guessing until the near end.

God and romance play a part in this book but are toned down enough that it makes you appreciate the book’s main characters and maybe, just maybe will give you pause to reflect on your own beliefs.  Backgrounds on the main characters are just ample enough to not bog down the story. The added touch of Leah’s dad showing up in the story was heartwarming.

Gotta love the Epilogue and how it pulls and concludes the story exceptionally well.

I highly recommend Fatal Strike if you love a story that reacts like wildfire around murders and investigations, and is sprinkled with a hint of romance. Just a hint. You will not be disappointed.
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Fatal Strike is a 400-page rollercoaster ride!  It started off rather slow - with just a few twists and turns.  As it turned out, the slow start was necessary so DiAnn Mills could get all her puzzle pieces on the table.

Although it took the first two-thirds of the story to “set the scene” for the climax, the last third was so thrilling that I read it in one sitting.

**The Cast of Fatal Strike**

There were quite a few characters in this story.  If there were any more, it would have been challenging (to me) to keep them all straight.  However, I don’t hold that against the author.

One of the things I really loved about this story was the way some characters switched from good guy to bad guy.  It really kept me on my toes.  Throughout the story, whenever a new tidbit of information was revealed about one of the characters, I processed it very carefully, always putting it into the perspective of the story.  It was fun, but it turned out that I was wrong about several of the characters.  That’s good suspense fiction!

The two main characters - co-protagonists - were both FBI agents.  They also doubled as snipers for the bureau.  However, they both kept secrets from the rest of the world.  Each had compelling backstories, but each also had a distinct fear that they would have to grapple with at some point during the story.

The author kept the identify of the real antagonist(s) a secret until the climax.  That didn’t bother me because the protagonists were right there with me.  However, the “deeds” of the antagonist(s) were discovered throughout the story.

**Technically Speaking**

This was a very well edited novel.  SPAG issues were pretty much nonexistent.  Although, there was one word that I had never heard of before.  I knew what the word meant, but I could not find that same word in any dictionary.  At some point I’ll likely shoot off an email to the author to see where she found it.

As I mentioned before, the early pacing seemed rather slow.  However, it slowly began to pick up,  and when it started the build to the climax, there were no brakes!  The rollercoaster was on the downhill, and there was no stopping it until it hit the bottom.  I found it very exciting!

The story contained two subplots.  One was the relationship between the main characters, and the other was faith (in God).  If I have any criticism of this excellent novel, it would be that these subplots did not seem (to me) to be woven into the story as well as they should have.  That is an utterly personal opinion, and it should not have any bearing on your decision to read this story.  

I highly recommend this story!
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