Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Review: Hot Pursuit

Title: Hot Pursuit
Author: Suzanne Brockmann
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Troubleshooters/Book 15
Published: July 2009

From the inside cover ~

Alyssa Locke is no stranger to dealing with danger. As team leader of the nation's number one personal security company, Troubleshooters, Inc., she's seen more than her share of action, survived plenty of close calls, and holds her own with the best of them--and against the worst of them. Guarding lives is her game, and no one plays it better. But her toughest challenge will be protecting herself from a serial killer she’s been after for years -- known only as “The Dentist” -- who is determined to make her his ultimate trophy.

The assignment was supposed to be an easy one: teach self-defense techniques to a newly-elected New York State Assemblywoman and her chief of staff, after a political controversy generates a blizzard of hate mail – including some death threats -- from hotheads and cranks. But as soon as she mobilizes in New York City with her squad of moonlighting Navy SEALs, Alyssa begins butting heads with the hard-case cop who thinks they’re chasing shadows.

Until they discover a dead body. And then another. Now Alyssa really has her hands full ---bodyguarding two independent, busy women, managing a murder investigation, and trying to find time for her husband, Troubleshooters operative Sam Starrett, and their infant son. Meanwhile, it wouldn't be a Troubleshooters operation without romantic sparks and heated rivalries--and any time the SEALs of Team Sixteen are involved, there are plenty of both.

But then, while investigating a suspect, Alyssa is ambushed, and suddenly finds herself imprisoned by The Dentist. Now cut off from everyone she loves and relies on, Alyssa must call upon all of her strength and skill to survive this final confrontation with the sadistic monster, and trust that her Troubleshooter teammates, led by her beloved Sam, will reach her before it’s too late.

I wasn't sure what to expect with this latest installment in the Troubleshooter franchise. It was said to be Sam and Alyssa story, again, but while they did get a bunch of page time I think it would be safe to say they were not the center of the book. Brockmann had a number of story lines going so it read more like an ensemble than simply Sam and Alyssa's book. I have to confess, I know Sam and Alyssa would probably be listed as a favorite couple of many fans, they're not mine. I do like them but I was never crazy over them. I did find that I had a greater liking for them after reading Hot Pursuit. I think it was because Sam has finally got his shit together. I just find him far more likable now than he was in his own book. *ducks head*

It's January in New York City and Alyssa, Sam and some Navy Seals are there as a security detail for Maria Bonavita. Maria is a State Assemblywoman, who is also a good friend of Savannah von Hopf, wife of Ken Karmody of SEAL Team Sixteen. It's like that six degrees of separation thing. Anyway, what usually happens when the Troubleshooters take what is suppose to be a working vacation? Murder, mayhem and sex. Cause you just have to have the sex. :) The plot was fairly standard with the gang running here and there. Protecting the civilians, setting up security and looking in the wrong direction for suspects. Jules and Robin decide to join the gang. Jules brings Robin with because it's suppose to be a pseudo vacation and Robin whined and complained until Jules agreed to bring him. (Sorry, not a big fan of Robin, aka BW).

So far it sounds like I didn't like Hot Pursuit much and while there were parts that I could have done with out: Danny and Izzy - just grow up already! And Jules - please stop calling everyone "Sweetie", kay? Thanks! One part that I did like was Dan Gillman's new love interest. I'm trying to keep this spoiler free so I'll just say that I enjoyed their interactions and even though their relationship developed very quickly, I still like the way it developed. In the short time frame, I do think Brockmann did a good job in making the feelings they had by the end believable.

There was also Sam and Alyssa, who at this point, have been married for almost 6 years. Wow - how time flies. They also brought their baby son Ashton with since everyone and their brother thought this was an easy assignment. Izzy and Robin get babysitter duty. I did get the feeling that Brockmann was foreshadowing Robin, Jules and baby makes three. *shrugs* - wouldn't surprise me. It's obvious she uses her books to help promote gay rights. So to have Robin and Jules with a baby down the road only makes sense. Jules, IMO would make a great father. Robin eh, still too immature.

Back to Sam and Alyssa. I liked both of them more this time around than I have in the past. Alyssa seems more, I don't know, approachable? She comes across as a more open character, fulfilled and less closed off. And Sam, while he is still a stubborn, opinionated S.O.B. at times, he's mellowed and learned to let his teammates take the lead at times, especially Alyssa. He still has one heck of a temper but he's learned to control those impulses far better than before.

There are still a number of characters, both old and new, that are left at loose ends. Brockmann did keep my interest through most of the book with a few stops and starts and minimal eye rolling at some of the language. Maybe I just don't spend enough time out on the streets, hanging with the cool kids, but there were a few times when I just had to shake my head at the lingo. I do think a small part of me was waiting for Izzy to say "I'm outtie." :)

Check out Suzanne Brockmann's huge back list at the author's website.

Rating: B


  1. I do think a small part of me was waiting for Izzy to say "I'm outtie."

    I actually like the adolescent humor a bit.

    I haven't read this yet - it's sitting on my counter. But I do agree with you on one point, and that is that over the last few books, I think that Jules has gotten a little less professional (your "Sweetie" comment), even if they are his friends, if it's a work situation, it's a work situation. Which is a shame. Because I think that Brockmann may have stepped over the line in her attempt to prove that gay men are just as capable as any other man in any profession. Granted, I say that without having read this one, but it's something I noted in one of my reviews of... can't remember which book.

    Anyway... still looking forward to reading this one! Just cause I'm a Brockmann nut :)

  2. Okay, I didn't realize there were so many Troubleshooters books! Wow. I really need to get on this franchise, because I hear such good things about it. However, I will NEVER read a book that has a villain called the Dentist. That is way too frightening. OMG.

  3. Lori ~ sometimes I wonder if Jules saying "Sweetie" is to remind the reader that he's gay. IDK What I like about Jules is that he isn't the stereo-typical gay man. He may not be as big as the SEALs but he's just as brave, smart and tough as they are.

    CJ ~ the killer isn't an actually dentist, he just keeps the teeth of his victims as souvenirs. Not sure if that makes it any better. LOL