It is RITA® Reader Challenge season ‘round these parts, and Rachel stepped up to review this book, which was nominated in the Romantic Suspense Category.
Plot Summary: Six years ago, Lucy Kincaid was attacked and nearly killed by an online predator. She survived. Her attacker did not. Now Lucy’s goal is to join the FBI and fight cyber-crime, but in the meantime, she’s volunteering with a victim’s rights group, surfing the Web undercover to lure sex offenders into the hands of the law. But when the predators she hunts start turning up as murder victims, the FBI takes a whole new interest in Lucy.
With her future and possibly even her freedom suddenly in jeopardy, Lucy discovers she’s a pawn in someone’s twisted plot to mete out vigilante justice. She joins forces with security expert and daredevil Sean Rogan, and together they track their elusive quarry from anonymous online chat rooms onto the mean streets of Washington, D.C. But someone else is shadowing them: A merciless stalker has his savage eye on Lucy. The only way for her to escape his brutality may be another fight to the death.
And here is Rachel’s review:
Creepy, thrilling, nail biter status aside – this book may not be for everyone because of the topic of rape and violence towards women. While I am not a victim myself, I did lose a good friend to such violence. Brennan handles the subject well in my opinion, and I’m not trying to warn people away from the book, but I did feel it should be clearly stated.
This book reminded me why I don’t read suspense/thriller types all that often. With books I get way too involved with what’s going on, unlike a movie of the same genre. Having said that, I couldn’t put it down. Not even when the sicko villain had me doing the heebie-geebie dance in my chair (dude was messed up). I’m getting chills and scrunched up shoulders just thinking about it again as I write this.
Lucy’s character felt real to me – like someone you’d want to sit down and chat with over cheesecake and coffee. Six years after her experiences, she’s finished college and has an application in to join the FBI. She’s driven to want to catch the bad guys and protect the innocent, but not in an obsessive manner. She just knows it’s what she wants to do. In one form or another, she’ll be there to help people who’ve had similar experiences to her own.
Her family wasn’t perfect either. They love Lucy – to the point of being more overprotective than most people in normal situations. Which gave some great moments for conflict that flowed well with what was happening through the book.
Sean, sexy P.I. – amateur race car driver, pilot, expert lock pick, computer genius – seemed a little … I don’t know. Not that a person can’t have all the aforementioned skills, and being self sufficient is great – but his hobbies seemed manufactured for convenience to fit certain plot elements when the need arose. Like being an amateur racer gives one all the skills needed to have a brief car chase through a residential neighborhood. Huh – say wha??
Not that I question the ability of a race driver to handle a car, but I would have found it more plausible if he’d mentioned a stunt driving course or something along those lines. I’m probably the only person who would have an issue with such fiddly little details – more specifically why it had to be mentioned before the chase could start in the first place. Course, I find reading about car chases very boring in the first place, so I might be a little biased here. Using one as a mini info dump (only time anything racing related was brought up) to mention a character’s little side hobby turns me on even less.
I can’t be too hard on him though. He’s an overall decent guy for the most part, and very good to Miss Lucy (letting her dictate the speed of their relationship a big plus). So as long as I ignored the occasional “Oh yeah, I can do _______. Shazam!” moment, everything was okay. Any guy that can take a girl teasing him about his ego (and join in with her) can’t be all that bad.