by Susan S., guest reviewer
Case Number ISBN-13# 978- 0-7783-2795-0
Organization Name: Department 6
Specializations: Undercover assignments
Female Agent: Rachel Jessop, heroine.
New Identity: Mrs. Rachel Mott
Male Agent: Nate Ferrentino, hero.
New Identity: Mr. Nate Mott
Assignment: 1. Discover any illegal activity within commune. 2. Find missing girl, Courtney Sinclair. 3. Infiltrate religious cult named Church of the Covenant.
Cult Leader: Ethan Wycliff a.k.a the Holy One.
Then: Six months ago, Rachel dipped her pen in company ink; once. And ever since, her boss Nate has kept the company ink under lock and key. She’s humiliated enough, but Rachel’s got a job to do and innocents to save. This mission will have her working closely with Nate. She’ll have to like it or lump it. Looks like, she’ll be lumping it.
Now: They’ll have to endure a ten hour car drive from L.A. to Paradise, Arizona…with no A/C. She can ignore him, sleep with him…again, or throttle him. What’s a girl to do with an ex-Navy SEAL, who’s over 6’ tall, has green eyes, and 210 lbs. of delicious muscle? I mean, what would you do?
Possible Outcomes: This assignment has the potential for disaster written all over it.
Plan B: There is no plan B, lives are at stake!
Underlying Theme: Betrayal. This novel draws to mind a Latin phrase from a Shakespearean tragedy. When Julius Caesar utters, “Et tu, Brute?” A key player will commit…the ultimate betrayal.
Content warning: m/f and some m/m elements. Not for the faint-of-heart! Contains a ritualistic rape scene I found disturbing. Mind you, Novak only implies what happens. Had she actually detailed the occurrence, I’d feel even more perturbed.
Further commentary: I’d’ve used only one Charles Manson reference.
Well written: Has nail biting suspense! Bravo on the dialogue challenges between hero/heroine and Abby, a young deaf girl. Novak expertly conveys the desperation Nate and Rachel feel when trying to decipher Abby’s signing; which hold vital clues regarding the life within the commune. You’ll fear for Rachel’s safety, and feel how the suspense crescendoed- once Rachel is initiated as a Covenanter.
White Heat is the first installment from Brenda Novak’s Department 6 Trilogy.
Recommendations: Pick up a copy if you generally read romantic suspense, or suspense/thrillers. You won’t be disappointed, if you grab novels hoping to find one with a happily-ever-after. White Heat has one.
Rating: 4 Badges
MIRA, 2010, Contemporary Romantic Suspense, eBook pages 442.
Case Number ISBN-13# 978-0-7783-2795-0.
Next Assignment: If your jonesing for another suspense fix, Body Heat, Novak’s second Department 6 book is coming soon. Should release within the next month.