Wow. I just don't know where to begin, other than to say that I'm very impressed with this book. There may be spoilers in this review, but I've tried to keep it free from any revealing points.
It begins with an incredible showdown between law enforcement and a handful of domestic terrorists. We get a peek into the scene of dismay, dead bodies of both sides and soon enough we find that the only female in the group of outlaws has just given birth. Yet, she and Carl, the group's leader, have gone missing. Along with the baby. At this point, they recover the baby's DNA from the home. Years later, the sample is matched to the remains of a Jeremy Wesson. Dawson Scott is a well-known reporter and has been convinced to take on this case, attending court where he meets the victim's ex-wife, Amelia. Through her, we meet her two sons, who Dawson becomes quite intrigued with, all under the guise of getting a good story.
Firstly, I'd like to mention the characters. The way the story was written, the characters were well presented and we got insight into many of them, including their reasons for their actions and so on. It was interesting to see into the mind of the bad guys and I actually felt somewhat sorry for Floral, being the way she was treated by the company she kept and her lack of choice in her own actions. I also had a soft spot for Jeremy in the end, being the way he was raised and his own reasons for doing the things he did. I don't always like main characters, but I certainly did take a liking to Dawson and enjoyed that, as the story went on, we always found out something new about him and much of his story has something interesting to find out. He's not a one dimensional character and I very much appreciated that he wasn't an ordinary reporter.
Next, I think I'd like to mention the overall plot. I don't think I could pinpoint the genre as being one specific type of book. It has a lot of elements of many genres. It has action and drama. It has romance, with a little bit of adult scenery. There are mystery portions and adventure. In some portions, it also kind of felt philosophical. I like the blend of all these aspects and felt like the novel was very well planned. It has a lot of details and there's actually a lot of stuff going on in the work. Yet, it's put together well so that new information is revealed at the right moments to engage the reader in suspense and mystery. It certainly kept me guessing right up to the end. If I were to summarise the author, Sandra Brown's, writing style, I would classify it as 'sassy'. She has a certain way of writing that makes the piece feel almost matter-of-fact. I, personally, don't know how to describe it. However, I feel that there's the right amount of everything in the novel. There's descriptions where they're needed, yet she doesn't go overboard. There's a little bit of swearing, but in the right places so the emphasise is still carried without losing any of the effect. There's many portions of humour and a few comedic aspects, enough to add a lighten the mood in the right places.
There are a lot of things that the author has done right in the novel and it's quite rare for me to not have many negative criticisms to point out in a book. I just honestly can't think of a point in the book where I didn't like how it was turning out. I'm actually quite impressed with this piece and curious to read more into Sandra Brown's work, which I'm definitely intending to do.
I received a free copy of this, that I won from a First Reads giveaway. However, the thoughts I've presented in this review are entirely my own opinion. It took me about 5 hours to read the book, on and off over a period of two days. It's one of those types of books that kept intriguing and surprising me enough that I couldn't put it down. I really, honestly feel that this is well worth five stars. I can't think of any loose threads or plot points which haven't been finished. There are a lot of twists and turns that keep you guessing.