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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

TBR Challenge for September

The TBR Challenge for September is to read a book with a 2-word title.

Examples from my shelves:
Death Drop by Alina Adams
Match Game by Beverly Brandt
Chill Factor by Rachel Caine

I chose:

**** Triple Threat by Jan Coffey. Romantic suspense.

This is the third in a loosely connected series, after Trust Me Once and Twice Burned. It had only been in my TBR pile for about five months--I bought it after reading Twice Burned.

It's an election year, and an embattled President has decided what the country needs is a big 4th of July celebration to remind everyone "we're all Americans." And the centerpiece of the celebration will be a speech in front of a Betsy Ross flag.

However, just a couple of weeks before the 4th of July, the flag he'd intended to use was destroyed. FBI agent Nate Murtaugh is tasked with finding and acquiring the rumored "Morris flag"--created by Betsy Ross, and given to Morris by George Washington himself. Other agents are investigating the destruction of the flag.

But nobody seems all that concerned about an 8-year-old boy, foster child Chris Weaver, who's been missing since disappearing from the museum after the vandalism, so against his boss's wishes, Nate searches for the boy. His two missions collide in the form of Ellie Littlefield, who's both the last person known to have seen Chris, and an antiques dealer with a shady past who's his entree into the upper tier of the collectors' world.

I had a hard time warming up to Ellie at first--she seemed far too uncaring when she was informed that Chris was missing, and for me that overshadowed her own concerns about her past and her distrust of authority figures.

I also had trouble getting too excited about finding one specific flag for what amounted to a political rally, and couldn't quite believe that it would make a whit of difference to more than a handful of people. That gets explained in the end, but until then, it kept me a bit skeptical.

Still, other than my initial impression of Ellie, the characters were unique and engaging. Nate was sympathetic as the wounded, burned-out warrior. Ellie's relationship with her mostly-estranged father was complex and emotional. Ted Hardy, the brother of the heroine of Twice Burned, has a secondary role, and it was nice to see him slowly beginning to heal. 8-year-old Chris, though, stole every scene he was in. He was realistic: scared, wanting to trust someone to take care of him, but not believing that he could.

The plot was nicely convoluted, and delved into political intrigue as well as the art world.

I've put the next book in the series, Fourth Victim, on my to-look-for list. I'm looking forward to it.

If you want to play, comment here, or post on your blog, and let us know what you read, how you liked it, and how long it had been in your TBR pile.

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I do recall reading Triple Threat but not sure how I grade it. I think it was also an 4 stars. I can't check because I lost the files from the computer when the old computer died.

I don't I have read Fourth Victim, yet. But I notice it not even in stock at Barnes and Noble. Wonder if this is hard to find book...well check it later....

Great review, as always!
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