Fatal Exchange is the second book in Lisa Harris' newest series, Southern Crimes. This is the first of her books that I've read and I enjoyed it. It is fast-paced and held my attention.
Since I didn't read the first book in the series, Dangerous Passage, I didn't understand at first why we had Avery's point of view. Once I found out book one was hers, it made more sense. Though this is book two in the series, it can very easily be read as a standalone, though there is a bit of a cliff-hanger at the end to ensure you will want to pick up the next book when it releases in Spring of 2015. There were undoubtedly several things I missed because of not reading Dangerous Passage first, but nothing noticeable enough to detract from the story.
Emily Hunt comes from a family of cops, but is the odd one out because she chose to be a school teacher. I really liked Emily's character. She was very believable and likeable. I enjoyed that while the author threw her into a high-stress, high-risk situation, she didn't try to make her into a super heroine. She was scared, tense, emotional, everything I imagine I would be, if I were to face a similar crisis. There seems to be a fine line in writing, between having a strong, independent heroine, and a clingy, annoying one. I really appreciated that Ms. Harris finds just the right balance to make Emily feel real.
Our hero is Mason Taylor and he is a great character! He is strong, determined, while also being kind and compassionate. The undercover cop character sometimes seems overdone and worn out, but Ms. Harris finds just the right balance for his character, too. While he is a cop, we see more than just one side of him. He has loved Emily for years, but has stayed just a friend out of respect for her faith. I was a little surprised that when he gets the chance to reconnect with her, he doesn't immediately jump at it. Yes, there is a lot going on so that wasn't really an option, but he mostly continues to be the friend she needs, while weighing the possibility of something more.
I was slightly disappointed that Ms. Harris left Emily and Mason's relationship on the sidelines for most of the book. This book is mostly suspense with a little romance. I suppose since the book covers a very small time frame, the romance would have seemed rushed had she done more with it, but I would also have liked there to have been a bit more depth to it. Hopefully she will pick it up again in the third book.
My main complaint is that this book is more suspense than mystery, which wouldnâ€˜t be a problem, except she tried to make it a mystery. The few "twists" seemed to lack originality and I could guess what was going to happen next without putting much thought into it. Also the "surprise" villain was very obvious. I saw it coming almost as soon as it happened, the only surprise was why they did it and that never seemed to be clearly defined. We are left with the "we may never truly know the reason," excuse. That was frustrating for me.
I was impressed with how she wove faith into the story. It isn't a major part of it, but she highlights what is there very well. The main spiritual theme is forgiveness, focusing on forgiving others. This quote sums it up rather well, I think, "My father always told me that forgiveness is a choice. A conscious decision to let go." Emily Hunt, page 279
Mason and Emily struggle with this through out the book. Mason must forgive someone from his past and Emily has to let go of the betrayal she feels. Forgiveness is never an easy topic to broach and while Ms. Harris does a great job of it, it did get a bit overwhelming for a couple pages at the end. I know she was trying to tie up the story and bring it to a close, but it felt both condensed and strangely long at the same time. She piled a lot into a few pages, then drug the last chapter out.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fast paced suspense!
I received this book through The Book Club Network for my honest opinion, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
A suspenseful thriller that keeps your blood pumping with a true adrenaline rush and keeps you on the edge of your seat. It is a non stop action story with twists and turns, suspense, some romance, sorrow, hope, faith, school shootings, the drug cartel, and kidnappings. WOW! Did not want to put this book down. One of the best I have read. Lisa Harris is a talented writer. The characters are well written and strong. I loved Emily and Mason, their relationship and how they handled the situations involved in the story.
Emily Hunt comes from a family of cops but does not want to follow tradition or even date a cop. She decides to become a teacher, to live a quiet life and to make a difference in the lives of her students. Her world is turned upside down when one of her students Rafael Cerda comes to class with a gun and takes her and the students hostage and demands a ransom for their release.
Rafael's younger brother has been kidnapped by the drug cartel and he is desperately trying to rescue him.
Mason Taylor is an undercover cop trying to bring down the drug cartel and get drugs off the streets that are ruining the lives of kids. He has been mentoring Rafael to try and keep him out of the drug world. Mason arrives at the school, is in contact with Rafael and tries to defuse the situation. When he enters the classroom, he and Emily both try to talk Rafael down.
I highly recommend you read this book and find out what happens to Rafael, his brother, mother, the the people behind the kidnappings, Mason and Emily. When you think everything has been resolved their is another kidnapping and some surprises as to the ending.
I received a copy of this book from bookfun.org for my honest opinion and review.
"Fatal Exchange" is the second book in the Southern Crimes Series. It is a quick easy read that is filled with mystery and adventure. Lisa Harris has written another winner!
Although "Fatal Exchange" is part of a series it stands alone well. In the beginning you might be a bit confused about a character or two, but their roles are quickly explained. Lisa Harris' book contains suspense, mystery and clean romance. The book deals with a school shooting, drugs and kidnapping. It also deals with issues like forgiveness, the stress that our law enforcement officers have to deal with, as well as the stresses of being a teacher in today's world.
I enjoyed "Fatal Exchange" and plan to read more by her. I received this book from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
If you like a fast paced, action packed, suspenseful mystery with a twist of romance, this book is for you. Although it is the second book in the author's series , it can be read as a stand alone.
Just when you think the book has ended, you get a totally
surprising finale !! So grab a copy of this exciting adventure.
The characters are well developed individuals. You will find how the good and bad in each character intertwines to make them interesting. There are issues face everyday in real life:
kidnapping, drug trafficking, easy of getting hold of illegal guns, deceit, gullibility, fatherless home, trust, fear, romance, silent prays and a real faith in God tactfully mixed into the story.
Emily Hunt comes from a family of generational cops. But Emily decided to become a teacher to try and make differences in children's lives by educating them. Little would she ever expectto have one of her students enter her classroom with a gun to hold the classroom as hostages.
Mason Taylor was a friend of her deceased brother. He is a cop in her sister's precinct. He is under suspicion in her brothers death. One of the kids Mason mentors turns out to be the student holding the gun in Emily's classroom to get money to get back his kidnapped brother from the drug cartel.
How will the situation be resolved? Is the kidnapping
of the brother the real reason behind the hostage taking?
How did the student obtain the illegal gun? How is the drug
cartel involved? Who can be trusted since the gun was once
in police custody? So many questions to be answered makes the story a fast paced, action adventure you won't want to miss.
I received this book from book fun.org. My opinion is my own.
Lisa Harris hit it out the park with this one. The last thing in the world Emily Hunt wants is to be is a cop or be in a relationship with one. Having grown up in a family of cops she decides, on a safe career, like a teacher. But her world is turned upside down when her classroom is taken hostage by student Rafael Cerda. Rafael is being controlled by the drug cartel that is holding his brother and mother hostage. Mason Taylor is the undercover cop that has been mentoring Rafael, when Emily's class is taken he try's to negotiate their release. When that fails he makes sure he gets in the class to help. As Mason and Emily struggle to survive they fight unwanted feelings for one another.
Fatal Exchange is a magnificent novel, I give it five stars. It is Christian fiction with romance and mystery. Fast paced and full of action it is sure to keep you at the edge of your seat. It is book two of the Southern Crimes Series. You can read this book alone but I am sure you will want to read Dangerous Passage book one in the series.
I want to give a high-five to the author Lisa Harris and publisher Revell for bringing compelling Christian books that are entertaining and give hope to the reader with stories of faith. The Book Club Network Inc. provided me with this book in exchange for my honest review and I am so grateful for their, the authors and publishers generosity.