Deadly Encounter – DiAnn Mills – Tyndale – Published 1 August 2016
Airport Ranger volunteer Stacy Broussard expected a peaceful Saturday morning ride around the perimeter of Houston’s airport. What she encounters instead is a brutal homicide and a baffling mystery. Next to the body is an injured dog, the dead man’s motorcycle, and a drone armed with a laser capable of taking down a 747.Though FBI Special Agent Alex LeBlanc sees a clear-cut case of terrorism, his past has taught him to be suspicious of everyone, even witnesses. Even bleeding-heart veterinarians like Stacy. But when her gruesome discovery is only the first in a string of incidences that throw her life into a tailspin, Alex begins to wonder if Stacy was targeted. As a health emergency endangers Stacy’s community, and the task force pulls in leads from all directions, Alex and Stacy must work together to prevent another deadly encounter.
Deadly Encounter is the first book in the new FBI Task Force series. It continues DiAnn Mills’ tradition of offering engaging novels of suspense with a touch of romance and faith.
I enjoyed Deadly Encounter, more than I have Mills’ previous few books. There is a lot more detail provided to readers while also keeping a steady pace of action and developments in the case. There is also a greater amount of family and personal details in this story to balance the crime focus. That said, the middle section of this book dragged on a little and the resolution of the crime sometimes seemed so far away, something I’m sure law professionals struggle with everyday of their lives. I love how DiAnn Mills’ books are far more reflective of realistic crime fighting rather than the showy but unlikely big reveals of the crimes you see on TV shows or in other books.
Stacy Broussard is a vet who also volunteers as an airport ranger. On one of her morning patrol rides around the airport’s perimeter, Stacy discovers a body, a drone and a yellow Labrador. FBI Special Agent Alex LeBlanc and his partner must investigate Stacy in this case of suspected terrorism, but the clues don’t match up, especially when Stacy is at the centre of further suspicious events.
Stacy and Alex instantly dislike each other, not least because of the stressful situation and Alex’s endless questions. As they work through the investigation they can’t help but be drawn to each other. It’s interesting watching them develop a friendship, while also watching Stacy cope with everything else that is going on in her life, most notably the attempt to adopt her neighbour, twelve-year-old Whit. The whole situations makes for an intriguing set of family dynamics, and of of course with that special element of romance. And Whit is absolutely charming; my favourite character. Alex calls him the little professor and it is very fitting. Whit has an extremely high IQ but low emotional coping due to his rough upbringing and abusive and neglectful parents. You can understand why Stacy wants to adopt and rescue this charming boy.
This was a fun book to read and I had no idea where the crime was leading, nor how the events would unfold. I enjoyed the elements of family, faith and romance, which contrasted nicely with this twisting and intriguing story of terrorism and the people that help prevent such serious crimes from occurring.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Adult fiction, Christian fiction.
Themes: Terrorism, FBI, detective, animals, vet, family, romance, faith, foster children.
Published: 1 August 2016 by Tyndale.
Format: Paperback, ebook. 400 pages.