Dangerous to Know, Dawn Ryder
I’ve read a few of Dawn’s novels now, and looked forward to this. It had a lot more of the suspense angle than I expected, but not so Ops heavy that I couldn’t follow it. Sometimes suspense novels get so detailed on the equipment, guns etc and where and when everyone is placed that I get lost. One character says some cryptic sentence, the other nods knowingly and I’m left thinking “What??”
Thankfully that doesn’t happen here. There is lots of drama, lots of danger, but at all times I felt I could follow it, which meant I felt I was there with the characters. They’re the best reads for me, the ones where I get totally absorbed into the story, feel what they feel, happy, sad, scared or angry.
Zoe is a great lead, strong, opinionated and confident.With her dad and brother both in the services she knows how things work, knows when they’re deep in the field not to worry if they’re out of contact, and not to bother them with petty issues when they do call. Then Mercer comes into her life. She doesn’t let anyone in, let anyone get close, ever, but somehow he worms his way into her life and then….Well, she can’t believe what she’s hearing, that valuable and confidential info is being routed through her PC. She knows her dad and brother are loyal, knows it’s not her either but how can she prove it when all trails seems to stop at her. Then the dangers step up too, and the action gets really complicated.
She feels angry at Mercer, at the way he took her in, but she knows how things work, knows that when its essential her dad or brother would have sanctioned the same thing, but knowing that and being subject to it are two separate issues. She can’t help feeling stupid, taken in, she really though Mercer wanted her, and not that he was looking for a way into her home 😦
I so felt for her, that must have been gutting. Its a fine line though, and I’m not sure how I feel about this sort of action. Given the current issues here in the UK where operatives deliberately cultivated relationships with women in certain politically sensitive groups or who were thought to be involved in some way, and then some went on to have children, get married even under false IDs, and the poor women were kept in the dark til it all blew open. It makes me very uncomfortable. Many of these ladies had done nothing except campaign on animal welfare issues, things like that and something I’ve certainly done, it seems very extreme. What about the kids, what about the families created who later find dad has just disappeared, or who they’ve been told is dead only to find he wasn’t who they thought, and it was all a set up. Horrible experience but as in this book it happens.
Then of course you have people like Mercer who go on to develop real feelings for the target…what then? Can they pick up when everything dies down? Can they make the lady believe they are genuine this time? I’d be really cautious and so was Zoe. Mercer has his work cut out protecting her, tracing who’s behind everything, convincing his boss and colleagues he can still do his job even when they see his feelings for Zoe are real…
It wraps up in a very active climax, with deeper secrets coming out too, and a good opening left for the next book. Sometimes series like this are ones where each book is complete and a new story each time but characters are loosely connected. Here it looks like its to be same main characters and a continuation of this plot, which seems to have opened up a larger one.
Oh – I loved the parrot – and the way her dad treated him!
Stars: Four, a great read
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers.