In Jane Palmer's When She's Gone, the first installment in the Ara Zuyev thriller series, this fast-paced thriller will keep you at the edge of your seat. For bodyguard Ara Zuyev, a woman with a mysterious past and a former cop, she's sworn to protect Samantha Harper, the stepdaughter of millionaire Oliver Boone. When she was kidnapping from a restaurant, she chases the van that snatched her from her eyes. That's when the FBI is called in and Agent Luke Patrick is one the case. In order for them to talk together, they needed to trust each other. For the both of them, they discovered that Sam orchestrated the kidnapping as payback, which had taken a dangerous turn for the worst. After Oliver receives a ransom request via phone, she listened to her message on the phone and played it back in her mind to connect the dots. She pieced the together about the forged paintings from the gallery, which has dangerous Russian mob connections. In a race against time with the body count piling up, Ara puts herself in the line and faces somebody from her past to bring Sam home.
This was a fantastic thriller debut from start to finish. I really cared about Ara and on how she had put herself on the line to save Sam. I really felt bad for her on how she had endured a lot as a young Russian teenager and also as a cop. I also found Luke quite charming and amusing with his quick wits and sharp street smarts. I loved the New York City location with vivid depictive and scenic settings from the mansion to the shipyard in the end and everywhere in between. This would make you want to grit your teeth and hold your breath in this energetic thriller with non-stop action, drama, suspense, intrigue and plenty of mystery along the way.
What would you do when she's gone?
Review: Smugglers & Scones by Morgan C. Talbot
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