Lt Sam Starrett is a Navy SEAL with a problem. He’s gone to visit his soon-to-be ex-wife and daughter, only to find the body of a dead woman in her house, and his daughter missing. FBI agent Alyssa Locke has a past with Sam, one that left her devastated when he married Mary Lou. Alyssa is not willing to trust her heart to Sam again.
In addition, Alyssa is the agent in charge of investigating the murder, and Sam is a suspect. She tries to arrest Sam without success. Sam is racing the clock, trying to find his daughter before it’s too late. Eventually they have to decide if they can trust each other in order to join forces rather than continuing to be at cross-purposes.
There are multiple sub-plots, including the arrest of Sam’s SEAL team CO for suspected treason, terrorist plots, and Sam’s history. The secondary characters are well drawn, though some of their conflicts seem contrived.
Suzanne Brockmann has focused a great deal on characterization, and Sam’s motives, inner conflicts and desires are explained in detail. The primary relationship is interracial, and Ms. Brockmann depicts Sam becoming alienated from his father, and drawn to his friend Noah’s grandfather. Sam’s father is extremely prejudiced, and beats Sam repeatedly for spending time with Noah and “Uncle Walt” who are African-American.
All in all, this is a masterful book by an excellent author. Ms. Brockmann weaves many intertwining threads of both past and present while maintaining breathtaking suspense. She shows the damage prejudice can cause and the need for reconciliation between races without preaching or patronizing the reader. This book is a keeper.
Nancy Riggins-Hume, October 2003