Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher:  PublishAmerica
Release Date: March 2003
ISBN: 1-59286362-0
Format Reviewed: Paperback 
Buy it at Amazon
Read an Excerpt
Genre: Mystery 
Reviewed: 2003
Reviewer:  Kristin Johnson
Reviewer Notes:  Reviewer, Kristin Johnson, is the author of CHRISTMAS COOKIES ARE FOR GIVING, co-written with Mimi Cummins. Her third book, ORDINARY MIRACLES: My Incredible Spiritual, Artistic and Scientific Journey, co-written with Sir Rupert A.L. Perrin, M.D., will be published by PublishAmerica in 2004.

Den of Deception
By Richard Alan Nelson

     If hero Jon Roman, head of the investigation firm (think 1-800-USSEARCH) CalProbe, weren't so completely smitten by the enviably adorable and brilliant orthopedic surgeon Dr. Brianne Richard, he would be insufferable, because from Richard Alan Nelson's description, Jon makes Macgyver and James Bond look inept. Fortunately, males will appreciate that Jon Roman is too distracted by the lovely Dr. Richard to notice the hired guns who seek to prevent him from helping her discover who really murdered her mother twenty years ago and why. Was it the Mexican gardener Julio Silvas in the kitchen with the hammer? This should give opponents of illegal immigration some ammunition.

     Actually, the Mexican gardener happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, as Brianne and Jon soon discover when Jon's brilliant but crude associate, former P.I. John "Buck" Winston, is nearly killed while interviewing Julio Silvas. It's always the little guy, the red herring, taking the fall for the powerful guy. In this case, Brianne's investigation takes her into buried family secrets…and luckily, into Jon Roman's arms. Is it any coincidence that Jon's last name reminds the reader of romantic, romance, and the nobility of ancient Rome?

     For Jon's part, he finally recovers from his fascination from Brianne to realize that their lives are in danger…particularly when the hired guns break Brianne's fingers, so necessary to surgery---fortunately, the injury is to her noncritical hand. But, as any good thriller writer does, Nelson increases the danger to Jon and Brianne, or "Brie" as her loved ones call her (Nelson's heroine is like a fine, rich, elegant, layered cheese) while slowly making them fall in love. The love story is more flirtation than seduction for much of the book, but Nelson gets points for not having the hero and heroine leap into bed, and for portraying a complex, real relationship affected by danger and family secrets.

     There's much to like in this novel, although Nelson does have the tendency to jump around omnisciently between his characters' minds, often in the same scene. Characters such as Jon, Brianne, and Buck drive this fast-paced intelligent page-turner.