Series: Cold Justice #3
Published by Self Published on November 16, 2014
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Physicist Scarlett Stone is the daughter of the man considered to be the most notorious Russian agent in FBI history. With her father dying in prison she’s determined to prove he’s innocent, but time is running out. Using a false identity, she gains access to the Russian ambassador’s Christmas party, searching for evidence of a set-up.
Former Navy SEAL, now FBI Special Agent, Matt Lazlo, is instantly attracted to Scarlett but life is too complicated to pursue a politician’s daughter. When he discovers she lied to him about her identity, he hunts her down with the ruthless efficiency he usually reserves for serial killers.
Not only does Scarlett’s scheme fail, it puts her in the sights of powerful people who reward unwanted curiosity with brutality. The FBI—and Matt—aren’t thrilled with her, either. But as agents involved in her father’s investigation start dying, and the attempts to stop Scarlett intensify, Matt and his colleagues begin to wonder. Could they have a traitor in their midst?
As Scarlett and Matt dig for the truth they begin to fall passionately for one another. But the real spy isn’t about to let anyone uncover their secrets, and resolves to remain firmly in the shadows—and for that to happen, Matt and Scarlett have to die.
Scarlett Stone sees a chance to gather evidence to prove her father’s innocence and seizes the opportunity (he was convicted 14 years ago of being a spy for the Russians). Trouble is she stepped (clumsily) right into the middle of some serious political intrigue involving the Russian ambassador and the FBI. Special Agent Matt Lazlo had no idea the charming woman he flirted with at a Christmas party would turn out to be major trouble.
What I enjoyed
I like that Scarlett’s nerdy smart and doesn’t get her allure. She and Matt had a strong attraction before everything became a hot mess and they had to start all over again, making for a more interesting romance. The Russians were pretty scary, ruthless and had the upper hand for most of the story, creating lots of anxiety, anguish and thrills. Scarlett’s belief in her father’s innocence wasn’t even close to being shared by Matt and the rest of his FBI colleagues and their gradual change in perspective was paced and presented perfectly. Alex Parker and Mallory Rooney (from the first book) play important roles in this story and that’s a really good thing considering his murky past and skills.
The bottom line
The political intrigue is in the FBI’s back yard this time, which is always a huge draw for me. The tension is off the charts, the suspense palatable and the spy mystery rivaled Watergate’s Deep Throat. The story had all the right elements to keep things interesting and anxiety-filled. And, it had one of those surprise twists at the end that I always love to see. Still loving this series.
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