Trapped by Irene Hannon is the second book in the Private Justice series. It's a suspense filled story that holds you spellbound till the end. I haven't read anything from her before, but she is definitely an author I will be reading from now on!
Laura Griffith comes home from work to find a note from her half-sister saying she has left for good. Frantic with worry Laura hires a private investigator to help find sixteen year old Darcy.
James Devlin, a former ATF agent, is the P.I who gets Laura's case. The first forty-eight hours are critical to finding runaways, but without much to go on the possibility of finding her is slim. As Dev works on the case, he finds himself attracted to Laura and lets her tag along on some of his forays. But as the days keep dragging on, they become more worried that they will never find Darcy...
I really enjoyed this story. It kept my interest from the get-go, and I couldn't wait to see how it would get resolved. Anyway, I'm dying to read the first book in the series and am eagerly awaiting the third book! :-)
I was given this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Sharing my thoughts~Besides strong main characters, this book also has multidimensional secondary characters, and I especially enjoyed the camaraderie between the three PI's and Nikki, the office manager. I also feel like I got to know Darcy as well as Dev and Laura. After Darcy's free-spirited mother died, and then her elderly father, Darcy moved in with Laura, who didn't know anything about raising a teen. Stifled by Laura's old-fashioned rules and feeling responsible for her father's death, Darcy runs away, headed towards Chicago, but a storm grounds her in St. Louis. Little clips showing Darcy's transformation from obnoxious to grateful as the story unfolded helped me better understood her motivation.
"Even if Laura's intentions were good, rules were for kids. If she had stayed, they'd keep clashing, just as she and her dad had. And look how that had ended."
At one point in the book (not giving away any spoilers here!), I felt Laura acted irrationally for the danger she was in, but since she was worried about her sister, I decided to cut her some slack. If I'd been faced with a similar predicament, I probably would have rushed into the same situation. How many times have I made spur-of-the-moment decisions and then regretted them later?
What a fast-paced, chilling thriller made even more frightening because it's something that happens in real life! We inherently trust people because they look "safe" or because of their occupation. Scary! I picked up Trapped one evening while my husband was gone, and at times, my palms were sweating and my heart pounded with fear, but did that stop me from reading? Noooo. I just had to keep reading because with every page I flipped, the situation was too intense to put the book down. While the plot moved along at extreme speed, I felt the romance was a bit on the lean side, only really heating up at the end of the book, but I guess that's to be expected with the amount of action in this one. The faith thread was a gentle strand, weaved subtly through the book.
Trapped is the second book in the Private Justice series, but can be read as a stand alone. I just don't recommend reading it alone. I'm still turning on lights and checking doors. :)
Disclosure: Sending a big thanks to NetGalley and Revell for providing me with an advance review copy. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, and I received no monetary compensation.
Irene Hannon writes a story that takes the reader on an incredible journey. She never disappoints on any levels. This is a suspense interlaced with a little romance. She introduces us to strong, well developed characters that somewhere along the way have a conflict with their faith. Her use of brilliant imagery will easily transport the reader into the story. With each page turned the reader will become more invested in the story.
Darcy is a 16 year old who has recently lost her father. She has no other family but a half sister, Laura, who she comes to the Midwest to live with. Darcy is a typical teenager who thinks a number represents maturity. She likes Laura, but thinks that she lives a boring life and would be better off without her. She decides that she will move to Chicago and get a job, so after writing Laura a letter she leaves for the bus depot.
Laura is a young woman who leads a quiet life, but finds everything turned upside down when Darcy comes to live with her. She doesn't know her very well, but suspects she's had little to no discipline. She arrives home and finds Darcy's note. After calling the police and exhausting her own ideas she calls a private investigator.
James "Dev" Devlin shares ownership of Phoenix, Inc. with his two partners. They pride themselves on getting the job done, so when sees the turmoil on Laura's face, he vows to leave no stone uncovered. Dev concludes that with the raging snowstorm, finding Darcy shouldn't prove difficult. As the investigation progresses, Dev becomes concerned that maybe something sinister is going on with Darcy's disappearance. Every lead he follows down hits a brick wall, almost as if Darcy has vanished. Now he fears that Darcy is no longer a runaway and that the chance of finding her unharmed is less probable.
This is the second book in the Guardians of Justice series. The third book of the series "Deceived" is set to be released in the summer of 2014.
This book has all the elements to develop an enjoyable read, like: serial killer, runaway teen, desperate sister, and ex-ATF investigator. Hannnon combines them to create an enjoyable, fun, clean read that will keep you reading into the wee hours. Some of Hannon's romantic encounters seem a little trite and perhaps a little too sweet, but over all, the book is a pleasurable read. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys clean romantic suspense.
I picked up Trapped with the idea that I had a week to read it. I finished it in twenty-four hours. Should have known that'd be the case with another Irene Hannon book. Here's a little blurb:
When librarian Laura Griffith's sixteen-year-old sister disappears on a frigid February day, leaving only a brief note behind, Laura resolves to do whatever it takes to track down the runaway teen. That includes recruiting ATF agent turned PI James "Dev" Devlin to help. But the deeper he digs, the more he begins to suspect that something sinister is at work in the girl's disappearance. And the closer he gets to uncovering the truth, the clearer it becomes that the situation isn't just dangerous--it's deadly.
Trapped is the second in Irene Hannon's Private Justice series. These books do not need to be read in order. In fact, I have yet to read the first of the series but will definitely be returning for it. She's an author I always look forward to reading.
As for Trapped, Irene did a fantastic job with the bad guy in this book. I loved digging into his psyche and watching him unfold. We learn a little about him with each interaction which kept me turning pages. I also really liked both Laura and James. They were true to character and their budding romance gave me plenty of smiles. Another thing I typically enjoy with romantic suspense is the ability to see the story through multiple sets of eyes (or different POVs as some say) though in this book there was one in particular I felt could have been left out. That was of a minor character named Faith who was introduced later in the story. The only other time I had an issue with this book was at the end. There was a moment of what felt like author convenience as James rushes to Laura's rescue. I won't spoil it for you, but it gave me a pause of disbelief and pulled me momentarily from the story.
However, both were small issues in the middle of a great story and hardly enough to keep me from returning to Irene's books. She's great at romantic suspense and definitely delivers with this one. I happily give Trapped 4 out of 5 stars and cannot wait for the third book in this series.
If you'd like to see a break-down of what my stars equal, check out my page My Ratings System to the right there. And a big thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free ecopy of this book in exchange for my honest review.