Former police detective Ric Alvarado is now a Sarasota private investigator with primarily run-of-the-mill divorce cases. He’s recently hired his best friend’s sister Annie Dugan as his administrative assistant but she’s determined to be more of an investigative aide. When he takes on what he believes to be another routine case to find a young woman who was the client’s deceased daughter’s best friend, he had no idea the hornet’s nest he was walking into and dragging Annie along in the process. Meanwhile, FBI Agent Jules Cassidy is in Sarasota working a sting operation targeting notorious crime boss Gordon Burns, suspected of assisting a known terrorist to soon enter the US. It’s been a couple of years but Jules is still trying to forget Robin Chadwick but now the man is also in Sarasota promoting his latest film. Yeah, you know their paths are going to cross as Burns is a serious movie buff.
the heart of the story…
To say Ric’s case went sideways is a massive understatement. Even though Annie lacks experience, she’s got exceptional instincts as she was leery of the client from the onset. Things got dangerous, I mean life and death level, further complicated as both Ric and Annie had undeclared strong feelings for each other. I loved Annie who was sharp, astute and could handle herself despite Ric’s penchant for wanting to “save” her. My only criticism was their constant sniping at each other that got annoying after awhile. I’d hoped Jules and Robin would eventually find their way back to each other so I was excited about the prospect. It was messy, passionate and fraught with minefields, which was perfect and no less than what I’d imagined for them.
This was a reread, this time on audio and I’m continuing to find it to be fresh and more entertaining in this format. I’m loving the duo’s performances.
the bottom line…
As much as I was looking forward to the Jules & Robin storyline, I was equally invested in Ric & Annie’s adventures as she turned out to be quite the surprise. Annie was witty, quick on her feet and almost an equal partner to Ric in every way. The transitions between the two just kept me hooked to the story and when they intersected, it was outstanding. Even Ric & Annie’s annoying and endless spats failed to lessen my interest. However, I give Jules & Robin the win for the romance! I loved this story and it was even better the second time around.
- Release Date: June 28, 2016 (originally 2007)
- Series: Troubleshooters #11
- Narrators: Patrick Lawlor & Melanie Ewbank
- Audio Length: 15 hours, 18 minutes
- Publisher: Blackstone Audio