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Saturday, November 11, 2006

****½ Hard Evidence by Pamela Clare. Romantic suspense.

On the surface, Hard Evidence sounds like a pretty typical romantic suspense with a journalist heroine and an FBI agent hero. Tessa Novak witnesses a murder--a teenage girl is gunned down right in front of her after begging for help--and decides to write the story, even though she's worried that the killer will target her as a result.

She's not stupid, though, and she cooperates with the police, describing for them the man in the black leather jacket she saw watching her after the shooting. Who happens to be not the killer but Julian Darcangelo, who's been tracking a human trafficker, and this murder is just the latest of the villain's crimes.

A few years ago, I burned out on romantic suspense, and the expectations I had while reading this book explain why: I expected Tessa to refuse to share any information with the police. She didn't. I expected Julian to conceal his identity and then for Tessa to go ballistic when she found out. That didn't happen either. Mostly, I expected Tessa to be TSTL, and to spout "the public's right to know" platitudes with every other breath and to expect the 1st amendment to work like a bullet-proof shield. None of that happened. Instead, Tessa was brave, and determined, and logical.

I liked watching the case unfold from two different angles. Julian had the advantage, in that he knew who the criminal was, but he was also hampered because there was a leak, either in the FBI or the police department, and he had to solve that as well. Tessa initially started the case thinking it was gang-related, and she followed leads until she came to the same conclusions.

The ending was both satisfying and had a nice twist.

Hard Evidence is part of a series that was begun with Extreme Exposure (#30) and continued with the novella "Heaven Can't Wait" in Catch of the Day. I'll be watching for more books in this series, starting with Unlawful Contact next year.


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Darla, is Heaven Can't Wait from the anthology of "Catch of the Day" a part of the I-Team Denver Independent newspaper (Hard Evidence and Extreme Exposure) by the author Pamela Clare?

I haven't read "Heaven Can't Wait" and wonder if I need to read that one first before "Hard Evidence"? But I just finish reading "Hard Evidence" though....

let me know.........
Yes, Heaven Can't Wait is part of the same series, but I don't think you miss a lot by reading them out of order--IIRC, they're more connected books than a series that builds on itself.
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