Friday, January 14, 2011

Force of Nature - Suzanne Brockmann

Florida private investigator and ex-cop Ric Alvarado’s life is spiraling out of control. His beautiful new girl Friday, Annie Dugan, is far more interested in fieldwork than filing, and despite Ric’s best efforts to ignore the attraction, sparks are flying between them. Then one of Ric’s clients turns femme fatale and tries to gun down an innocent man. Thanks to quick thinking and even quicker reflexes, Ric comes to the rescue, only to learn he’s done a very good deed for some very bad people.

Suddenly Ric finds himself deep undercover with Annie, working for notorious crime boss Gordon Burns. One mistake from Ric’s painfully inexperienced partner and they’re both dead.

FBI agent Jules Cassidy’s life isn’t in much better shape. For years the FBI has been trying to prove Gordon Burns’s ties to terrorist activity. Now, thanks to Ric and Annie, Jules has found a way into the lion’s den. But in the course of his investigation he comes face-to-face with Robin Chadwick, the charismatic but self-destructive and closeted movie star for whom Jules feels a powerful attraction. Robin’s in town promoting his latest film–and Gordon Burns is a star-struck movie buff.

With Robin and Jules’s help, Ric and Annie are soon entrenched in Burns’s organization, surrounded by killers who may already have executed an FBI infiltrator. Before long the couple realizes that many more lives besides their own will be at stake if they make a false move. As the heat between them reaches dangerous levels, so do the risks they’re willing to take–in the line of duty, for the sake of loyalty, and in the name of something that runs even deeper.

Force of Nature is the 11th book in the Troubleshooters series, it is also a book that I have deemed "the necessary evil".  Normally her books are cover to cover reads with only bathroom breaks, however, this one took 5 LONG days.  Ric and Annie were just taking up space, and didn't serve a purpose, much less 'hot couple' status. Where is all the action, the snappy dialog, the actually chemistry between the characters, the entertainment value, and the TS crew? Instead of being an entertaining read, it was more like a social commentary.  Some familiar characters, including Max Bhagat, Sam Starrett and Alyssa Locke, make a VERY brief appearance. We are also introduced to a new secondary character, Martell Griffin, a former cop who used to be on the force with Ric and still remains his best friend. I'm not sure whether he is absolutely necessary for the story, but he is a wonderful character who is very likely to turn up again, and I really loved getting to know him.  Martell, in my opinion, was the highlight of this book.  The love story with Annie and Ric seemed forced, and didn't seem to have much flow.  Jules and Robyn's story seemed to take center stage, which would have been ok, if they were supposed to have top billing in this book. While the story line is okay, the characters are obsessed with sex and sexual orientation. Said once was enough, said repeatedly detracts from what the author is trying to say.  I also take offense that Max is grooming Jules to be his replacement, but NO grooming happened, and it was a brief scene that we find out Max is leaving the FBI.  The FBI was his life for MANY years, and I get that Gina has "fixed" him, but that just seemed to no make a ton of sense to me. Then there is the fact that the "Troubleshooters" were NO WHERE in this book.  Sam makes a VERY brief appearance as does Alyssa but only in an e-mail.

Notable Quote:
"If I let you ride along", he finally said, "will you promise never to discuss blow jobs with me again?" (Ric having a hard time with the turn the discussion took with his best friends little sister)

2 out of 5.  I will keep this book only because it is part of a series that I totally enjoy.  I have to assume that Suzanne had a momentary lapse in judgement when it came to this story, since there was absolutely no rhyme or reason for this story other than more gay rights info, that seems to get more and more prevalent.  I don't enjoy a book that I feel I HAVE to get through, but as this is a series book, I knew more characters would be introduced.  I will, of course, be moving on to


  1. I think you hit the nail on the head with this review! I would have enjoyed this book more if it WASN'T a part of TS. Like you said they really didn't have a lot to do in this book.

  2. who needs to do research on Amazon when I can read your blog?

  3. Thanks Crystal...was a little nervous about putting it out there, but I was trying to be completely honest.

    Erin...thanks for dropping in, I try to be honest and HOPE that I don't hurt anyones feelings...I agonized about this review all night.

  4. No need to agonize over your honest opinion and review of this one, Hope! I agree totally with your review and rating. This one didn't fall into the Trouble Shooters mode and I didn't find either Rick or Annie particularly interesting. It is definitely not a reread but remains on my keeper shelves along with the TS series. On the plus side, we did get glimpses of other favorites and that kept me reading. Not a bad book - just not a favorite.

  5. Totally agree Anne...thanks for stopping in :)