Friday, November 9, 2012

"Hot Pursuit" by Suzanne Brockmann

When Congresswoman (or rather, assemblywoman) Maria Bonavita starts receiving threats, the Troubleshooters team comes to the rescue. I think it's to teach Maria and her team how to be safe, but I'm not sure. They bring an entire team of Navy SEALS, which I thought was a bit of overkill. They're lead by Alyssa Locke and her husband Sam Starret.

Romance quickly develops between Dan Gillman, one of the SEALS, and Jenn, who is part of Maria's team. Maria herself finds some time to hit on Izzy Zanella. Little do any of them realise, but the threats to Maria are by a psycho who is obsessed with Alyssa, and has used this as a way to lure her to him. I think. Anyway, this psycho just happens to be a serial killer called "The Dentist", who is apparently Alyssa's nemesis.

"Hot Pursuit" is actually book number fifteen in what is known as the Troubleshooters series, and it is basically plotless drivel. The back of the book goes out of its way to describe the novel as being about a former FBI agent going up against a deadly serial killer called The Denist.

That couldn't be further from the truth.

The Dentist plot takes a backseat to the author catching the reader up on what is going on in all of the characters' personal lives. I guess if you've read the previous fourteen books, that would be okay. But publishers, in their neverending quest to cheat readers out of their money (okay, so this one only set me back $5, but still....) try and pretend that you're reading the blurb of a stand-alone thriller. I could still follow what was going on - believe me, this is one of the less complicated books you're ever going to read - but it hardly made me want to go and track down any of the other fourteen books. Especially not if they're as transparently plotted as this.

The identity of The Dentist is completely arbitrary - barely any of the characters outside of the Troubleshooters and their gang get any dialogue, so nobody is built up as a potential suspect. Most of the book is devoted to the developing romance between Dan and Jenn, and it made me slightly ill. She's constantly described as being plain and big-boned - but much prettier if she put some effort in, of course. And of course, Dan is a complete hunk and she just can't believe he wants to be with her and blah, blah, blah. Actually, Dan just wants to get laid. He's a bit of a prat.

The author does have a refreshing attitude towards gay couples, with one gay partnership fairly prominent in the plot, and another secondary character identified as gay. And none of the SEALs, even in that macho sort of environment, could care less. It makes a pleasant difference from the usual representation, which is either totally flamboyant, sexually deviant or as outright perverted murderers. Here they're just normal guys.

But still not enough for me to hotly pursue the fourteen-or-so other titles in the series.

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