In the first of her Men of Valor series, Irene Hannon brings to light a cold case when a human skeleton is discovered at a construction site. Police Chief Lisa Grant and county detective Mac McGregor investigate the decades-old murder, hoping that identifying the body will lead to new intelligence. But it soon becomes obvious that someone wants to keep the past buried - even if it means adding to the body count.
While her heroes and heroines are generally in-depth and well-drawn, where Hannon excels is the villain. This book is no exception to that rule. Her suspense novels are set apart by the meticulous attention paid to villain: their motives, their history, their breaking point. What will cause them to crack? How will the heroes smoke them out? And while her villains have always been interesting, this is a villain among villains, one with no heart left - only cold calculation. A villain you can fear, loathe, and love for the sheer villainy.
Though the book starts as a fairly typical detective story, with immediate introduction of the romance, it ramps up in speed and suspense as they start narrowing in on the murderer. Connecting some dots regarding the villain's MO, I had a premonition of the climax, and I was not disappointed. It may not be the author's most suspenseful novel, but it packs a punch.
The romance is well done, with interests laid out on the table but professional boundaries largely in place. Working together as they are, Lisa and Mac have a good opportunity to get to know each other and prepare for a real relationship when the case is complete. I wouldn't have minded a little more of a spiritual theme to the story, but over all it was a highly enjoyable read.
Thank you Revell for providing a free book for the purpose of review; I was not required to make it positive, and all opinions are my own.
Men of Valor
1. Buried Secrets
2. Thin Ice
3. Tangled Webs