SEAL Team 16 is on standby for an impending Afghanistan op and their base commander thinks it’s a good use of their time to participate in a training exercise with members of Troubleshooters while they wait, which just happens to pit their former commander Tom Paoletti against the new one, Lew Koehl. They head out to frigid New Hampshire to stage the hostage rescue exercise. Bu there’s a lot brewing within the teams. SEAL Team 16 Petty Officer Mark (Jenk) Jenkins and Troubleshooter operative Lindsey Fontaine had a one night stand that went sideways just days before and things between them are tense. The beautiful but inept new Troubleshooters receptionist, Tracy Shapiro, is the cause for their current troubles as she’s proving to be quite the distraction for not only Jenk but others on the team. Then there’s the continuing drama between Troubleshooter operatives Sophia Ghaffari and Lawrence Decker, with poor lovestruck Dave Malkoff miserably serving as matchmaker. As if the personal drama wasn’t enough, things get real serious when Tracy turns up missing with a suspected serial killer at large in the middle of a snowstorm.
the heart of the story…
This is a reread for me, this time on audio, which made this feel like a new experience. I’d forgotten just how much was going on but this time was much more engaged in Lindsey and Jenk’s relationship. I remember not having a good sense about her but his time I found much to admire. She’s a former LAPD homicide detective and despite her small stature, she looms large in skills and acumen. Jenks was much more endearing, also being one of the shortest on the team but it’s his youthful demeanor that causes people underestimate him. I loved how their relationship developed, ramped up quickly but then forced to step back and deal with serious issues. What was again tiresome was the ongoing soap opera between Sophia, Decker and Dave, which didn’t seem to move the needle other than for Sophia and Decker to now be able to exist in the same space with less discomfort. And poor Dave…his heart is now fully exposed on his sleeve. Lastly, the segments involving the serial killer made my blood run cold. I could barely stand listening to those scenes. Shudder!
I’m loving this duo’s performances and what was a standout in this one was the voice of Izzy Zanella, SEAL Team 16’s newest member and Mark’s best friend. He was a stitch to read but on audio, he was hilarious. Everything else about the listening experience made this a much better read the second time around.
the bottom line…
This one had everything…a sweet romance, lots of funny moments, soap opera drama and some serious excitement and tension. When Tracy disappeared, it got scary and the suspense was palatable. It was still fresh this second time around and listening made it an even better story. I just wish the Sophia/Decker/Dave situation would move forward. I like all three of them but not this unusual triangle. Otherwise, this was great and timeless.
- Release Date: May 24, 2016 (originally 2006)
- Series: Troubleshooters #10
- Narrators: Patrick Lawlor & Melanie Ewbank
- Audio Length: 15 hours, 21 minutes
- Publisher: Blackstone Audio