Friday, June 6, 2008
Book Review: Run Among Thorns by Anna Louise Lucia
Having grown up cutting my reader-teeth on romantic suspense novels by Mary Stewart, I immediately know when I begin reading what will be, for me, a keeper. "Run Among Thorns" opens with grim government agent types reviewing footage of Jenny Waring expertly dispatching her captors during a tense hostage situation. The reader senses the appalling skills exhibited by the young woman have tossed her from the frying pan into the fire when we're introduced to Kier McAllister, a master of interrogation and psychological games of terror. McAllister spirits Jenny out of the country and takes her to a secluded cottage in Scotland, where he plans to use every technique available to him to force Jenny to abandon her cover story. The problem is, Jenny isn't an agent, secret or otherwise. She's a young woman with outstanding survival instincts who learned marksmanship at an early age, but when faced with the hard core McAllister, she's hard-pressed to convince him she isn't a product of special training being primed for military action. When McAllister squares off against his captive in a test of wit and will, he gradually concludes Jenny might be no more than the innocent she claims to be. He begins to suspect the agency who hired him has ulterior motives that have nothing to do with scoring Jenny as a new operative . McAllister, who has always taken pride in his work, must now use every survival trick he knows to keep Jenny alive. Fans of romantic suspense will find this novel satisfying because the story focuses on the building relationship between Jenny and Kier; the special operative/secret government agency theme forms a backdrop, but the story is really about the developing rapport between the two main characters. On the strength of this debut novel, I'm looking forward to the author's next release, "Dangerous Lies."