FBI Agent Max Bhagat, who heads the elite counterterrorism unit, has recovered from the injuries he suffered back in Sarasota. However, “girlfriend” Gina Vitagliano is now in Kenya doing relief work and has been for some time now. Coincidentally, she’s working with Molly Anderson in a remote village with little creature comforts. Unfortunately, Jules intercepts a message for Max, informing him that Gina was killed in an explosion outside of a cafe in Hamburg, Germany. He knows Max’s heart and does what Jules does best…manages the situation and accompanies Max to Germany to identify the body.
the heart of the story…
When the story opened, the first thing that came to mind was what happened to have Gina be working in Kenya? What drove her away from Max as I thought they were in a good place after Sarasota? And what was she doing in Germany? Fortunately, this story transitioned between the present, 18 months prior before Gina left and four months ago to explain what led her to Germany. It was a little confusing at first but once the story got going, it all made sense and was easy to follow, especially on audio. In the present, Max and Jules’ journey led them from Germany to Indonesia to find Gina and Molly who were being leveraged by some really bad guys in order to draw out Jones/Grady Morant, the ex-Special Forces soldier who ended up as a mercenary for a host of shady and dangerous folks. Figuring out which one was behind the abduction was a toss up amongst many.
I’m continuing to enjoy the audio version in my second reading of this series. It’s an entirely different experience and feels like my first time in the story. Lawlor is particularly masterful with his performances for Max and Jules.
the bottom line…
While we see the romance between Molly and Jones/Grady Morant resurrected, this is truly Max and Gina’s story. She pushed him to the breaking point, which was just what he needed, and he rose to the occasion. Everything was fast paced and things got dicey at every turn. I also loved seeing Jules in action, showing exactly why he excels in his job and beyond. The international aspect was also great, transporting me from Kenya to Germany into the unknowns of Indonesia. Gina held her own, too, showing that her resourcefulness during that plane hijacking wasn’t a one-time miracle. She’s exactly what Max needs and he’s perfect for her. Romance, intrigue, espionage and thrills at every corner…this story had everything. I’m just glad I chose to take it all in on audio.
- Release Date: February 1, 2015 (originally 2005)
- Series: Troubleshooters #9
- Narrators: Patrick Lawlor & Melanie Ewbank
- Audio Length: 14 hours, 21 minutes
- Publisher: Blackstone Audio