First, there's currently something wrong with the CWD description of this book. "Ellie Ballantyne, youngest child of Silas and Eden, has left finishing school. But back at her family home in Pittsburgh," isn't about Trapped - I don't know what book it is, but it isn't this one.
Laura Griffith hires private investigator James Devlin of Protection Inc. to find her sixteen-year-old half-sister, who has run away in the middle of a St Louis blizzard. The weather has shut down transport, so they know she is still in the city, but the race is on to find her before it's too late.
I found the first half of Trapped a real struggle to engage with. I didn't connect with any of the main charactersâ€”Laura came across as boring (and not because she's a librarian. I thought she was boring before that even came up). Dev seemed to be more interested in checking out Laura's legs than thinking about how to find Darcy (the teens I know don't phone their friends. They text, email, Facebook and FaceTime them, yet all Dev did was check Darcy's call records). Darcy, while self-absorbed and unappreciative, at least seemed to think and act like a typical teenage girl (self-absorbed and unappreciative). I didn't like her, but at least I could understand her.
I also found the story predictable, a problem I've had with several recent Irene Hannon romantic suspense novels. I keep hoping she'll rediscover whatever it was that I so enjoyed about her Heroes of Quantico trilogy, and I keep being disappointed. The writing in Trapped was good, but good writing isn't enough to overcome lacklustre characters and a been-there plot.
Overall, while I finished Trapped, the first half was a chore and I don't like it when reading becomes a chore. The second half was fast-paced and exciting, but it was a real struggle to get there. I almost gave up, and that doesn't happen often. When I want to give up but persevere I usually find the second half even more boring than the first, which makes Trapped the exception that proves my rule.
Trapped is the second in the Private Justice series, but can easily be read as a stand-alone novel.
Thanks to Revell and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
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.