Saturday, May 07, 2011

Deadly Fear - Cynthia Eden

Deadly Fear
Cynthia Eden

Romantic Suspense

This novel, the first in a trilogy, is billed as romantic suspense. It would be more accurate, I think, to call it a murder thriller with romance. Monica Davenport is an FBI agent. She’s part of an elite team formed to identify patterns and hunt down serial killers. Luke Dante is the new guy on the team, and he’s worked hard to get there. The only snag is that Monica and Luke have a past. They went through training together and had a short-lived, fast-burning relationship. Now, Monica wants to put all that behind them and simply work as colleagues. Her reasons are more complicated than that, but she’s not interested in sharing. Luke is determined to re-ignite the spark he feels is still there.

The serial killer hunt – not for the faint of heart, or anyone who objects to colorful language – is written extremely well. The killer chooses and studies his victims in advance. He wants to know what scares each victim the most, and tailors the deaths for maximum terror. From the first scene they investigate, it’s clear to Monica and Luke that this killer is no novice; he’s highly organized and has been at his ‘craft’ for quite a while. The trail to the killer is twisted in more ways than one, but it always makes sense. Even absent the romance storyline, this would be an excellent thriller, and I’d recommend it for fans of that genre.

Fairly early on, it becomes clear that the killer has Monica on his radar. He starts making calls to her cell phone; a number that shouldn’t be available to just anyone. Then he leaves his phone – a phone that belonged to one of his victims – on the ground next to Monica’s car. Clearly, he loves playing his game and Monica is his next target. Monica has a past that makes her an excellent profiler, and she’s determined not only to evade the killer’s grasp, but to prove that she can do her job with all the steely determination of any man. That may play right into the killer’s hands. The pages fly by as the action accelerates throughout the narrative. The final denouement and the events that follow are fascinating and quite satisfying.

Rating: 7 ½
August 2010
ISBN# 978-0-446-55924-9 (paperback)


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