Author: Suzanne Brockmann
Read copy: eBook
Published: July 12, 2005
Publisher: Ballantine Books
As commander of the nation’s most elite FBI counterterrorism unit, agent Max Bhagat leads by hard-driving example: pushing himself to the limit and beyond, taking no excuses, and putting absolutely nothing ahead of his work. That includes his deep feelings for Gina Vitagliano, the woman who won his admiration and his heart with her courage under fire. But when the shocking news reaches him that Gina has been killed in a terrorist bombing, nothing can keep Max from making a full investigation—and retribution—his top priority.
At the scene of the attack, however, Max gets an even bigger shock. Gina is still very much alive—but facing a fate even worse than death. Along with Molly Anderson, a fellow overseas relief worker, Gina has fallen into the hands of a killer who is bent on using both women to bait a deadly trap. His quarry? Grady Morant, a.k.a “Jones,” a notorious ex-Special Forces operative turned smuggler who made some very deadly enemies in the jungles of Southeast Asia...and has been running ever since. But with Molly’s life on the line, Jones is willing to forfeit his own to save the woman he loves.
Together with Max’s top agent Jules Cassidy as their only backup, the unlikely allies plunge into a global hot zone of violence and corruption to make a deal with the devil. Not even Jones knows which ghosts from his past want him dead. But there’s one thing he’s sure of–there’s very little his bloodthirsty enemies aren’t willing to do.
Gina Vitagliano is dead and Max Bhagat is full of regrets...But as he flies to Germany to recover the body of the only woman he's ever truly loved and bring her home, it's not Gina underneath the sheet in the morgue. The real Gina's been kidnapped, alongside one of her friends, to lure Grady Morant a.k.a. Jones to Indonesia.
Retribution for her death forgotten, the job that was his life forgotten, regrets forgotten, Max only has one goal—get to Gina and hope he's not too late.
What a disappointment this conclusion in the Gina/Max love story was. I was hoping for more. I was expecting more, and instead got a flashback filled first half of the book (flashbacks that detailed almost the minutiae of Max and Gina's failed relationship a year and a half ago, which was pointless, because we all knew that the asshole that Max turned into had pushed her away—no news there). And once the flashbacks were over, and Max and Gina were finally reunited, what does the girl (not woman, because if she was a woman she'd make him grovel, I know I would) do? She readily forgives him because he thought she was dead and he had tears in his eyes when he told her.
Sheesh! Talk about a doormat. The man treated her like crap, used her for sex, shut her out of his life and his emotions (although she did give up too easily, if you ask me), and she just forgives him because she loves him.
Yes, forgiveness was a given in this case (I wanted her to forgive him), but she gave in too easily in my opinion, swayed by his charm, his telling her what he truly felt for her, and those pesky tears.
The space given to the flashbacks could've been spent telling the story in the present, to solve the conflict more satisfyingly (with Max groveling), and make the suspense a little more gripping. As it was, the whole kidnapping plot was solved too easily, and the stand-off looked to be a piece of cake as well.
I didn't really care about the secondary romance, except for the fact it served to bring Max and Gina together and solve their (pointless) conflict...And Jules, as always, saved the day.