Release Date: Feb. 5, 2013
Publisher: Berkley Trade
The FBI Psychics #3
Genre: Suspense Romance, Paranormal
Format(s): Paperback (384 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley
AN ETERNAL DESIRE
With his strong psychic ability, FBI Agent Joss Crawford longs for the woman he loved in a past life. But after years of searching, a new case is drawing him into the last place he’d ever want to find her: an underground slave ring. Going undercover to infiltrate the network, he meets Drucella Chapman–the mastermind’s fiancee. Joss has every reason to believe she’s evil. So why is he irresistibly drawn to her?
A DANGEROUS GAME
Drucella has made it her personal mission to bring the slave ring down. But the sadistic ring leader is even more careful than he is cruel. In order to gain information, Dru has had to get close to the very man she wishes to kill, psychically reading his memories bit by bit. she’d do anything to finish the job, but agreeing to marry him may have been a step too far–even for her.
A FATEFUL ENCOUNTER
Though Joss and Dru are both undercover, nothing can disguise the sense of deja vu they experience when they meet. Neither can afford to be distracted from the mission at hand, but perhaps their reunion is exactly what this mission needs.
Joss Crawford is finally getting some time off, but is called in by his boss, Taylor Jones, to help work the difficult case trying to bring down the powerful human trafficker, Patrick Whitmore. Joss is one of a handful of psychically talented FBI agents, and his speciality is being a “mirror.” He can “absorb” other agents gifts and use them as his own until he gets rebooted. (It made me think of Rogue from X-men.)
Meanwhile, Drucella (Dru) Chapman is already on the case. Working uncover for no one but herself, Dru has posed as Ella, Patrick Whitmore’s love interest and fiancee, for the past two years. Dru has sold her soul to be the perfect woman for a man she vehemently despises and plans to kill. With no way out and only one friend who knows the truth, Dru has committed to see this through until either Patrick or she dies.
With such a heavy topic as human trafficking, I was worried that The Reunited would be a gruesome read. However, Ms. Walker handled a very horrible topic with decorum. She didn’t try to shock the reader with graphic details and images, but brought to light the horrors of the situation. She gave the seriousness of the topic respect and did not sensationalize the problems.
I also want to mention that although The Reunited can be read stand alone, there are several characters from the first two books that are prominent in this storyline. I did not read the first book, The Missing, and I really wish I had. I think that would have helped me follow what was happening with some of the minor characters (Taiga and Cullen) better. They played a fairly significant part in the storyline, and I had a hard time connecting with them.
One thing I really liked about this case was knowing who the target was the entire time. I enjoyed the thrill of trying to take down scum and worrying about how it would all play out and if everyone would survive rather than trying to figure out who the bad guy was. The “case” part of the storyline was well done – keeping me on the edge of my seat for most of the book. Ms. Walker has a talent for suspenseful storytelling!
Another piece to the story (other than capturing the bad guy) that added a lot is the fact that both Joss and Dru experience memories of a past life. The flashbacks were confusing at first, but as the book moved on, the repressed memories added a lot to Joss and Dru’s relationship. It was a way for them to connect and fall in love, even though they were surrounded by such horrible circumstances. It also made Joss’ immediately intense feelings understandable and believable.
Joss and Dru were both extremely sensual and hot together, but also aggravatingly frustrating. Dru was in a bad place – undercover for two years. But her constant flip-flop of emotions from fearful and whiny to determined was overwhelming sometimes. And Joss was a difficult character to follow during parts of the story. He had a lot going on in his head – being “sync’d” with two agents – one that sees/hears ghosts and another who had the memories of the captive girls and Patrick himself. In addition, he kept having flashbacks… it was a lot to follow at times. When Dru and Joss were in sync with one another, they were great; however, when they were not in sync, things were awkward and not as fun to read. For example, I got frustrated when as expected, each mistakenly believes the other is actually the undercover roll they are playing rather than their true selves. Each immediately assumed the worse about the other regardless of the bonds they had formed.
Overall, another enjoyable story from Ms. Walker. Even with the bumps I experienced along the way, The Departed is an exciting journey, full of suspense, personal growth, drama, and romance. Plus, the reader was introduced to new characters, a few that I think we’ll be reading more of in the next book, The Protected, coming September 2013!
Liked it – recommend (B+)
Reviews in the Series: