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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fatal Affair by Marie Force

Fatal Affair by Marie Force
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full Length (403 pgs)
Heat Rating: Spicy
Rated: 4 books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Washington, D.C., Metro Police Detective Sergeant Sam Holland needs a big win to salvage her career—and her confidence—after a disastrous investigation. The perfect opportunity arises when Senator John O'Connor is found brutally murdered in his bed, and Sam is assigned to the case. Matters get complicated when Sam has to team up with Nick Cappuano, O'Connor's friend and chief of staff...and the man Sam had a memorable one-night stand with years earlier. Their sexual chemistry still sizzles, and Sam has to fight to stay focused on the case. Sleeping with a material witness is another mistake she can't afford—especially when the bodies keep piling up.

In Washington DC; Sergeant Samantha ‘Sam’ Holland lands a big case: a U.S. senator is murdered. Complicating the investigation is the senator’s chief of staff and one-time Samantha intimate: Nick Cappuano. The convoluted and coincidental start off is a bit of a leap – but once one settles into solving the case, any questions of coincidence are past. For one thing, Sam is an incredibly believable detective, wearing past mistakes instead of her heart on her sleeve; remembering and almost grieving the death of a child that she believes was her fault. The regard of her boss, and his expectation that she can ‘win this one’ makes us wonder if she isn’t being too hard on herself – as does being assigned this plainly major case.

Dialogue, from the first, reveals a lot of inner emotions – and between Sam and Nick, a lot of bottled up, never resolved emotions. There is always more going on between the two of them than just solving the case. I’m never a fan of a shifting point-of-view, although at first, this seems well-managed between Nick then Sam, it was disconcerting to shift to the Senator’s family member, then on. Perhaps nothing was wrong with it technically, but it still interrupted the flow in a few specific spots. Many other points were exceedingly well handled. The backdrop of Washington and then the very lovely Leesburg area all seem accurate. Descriptions are never overdone, or intrude on the story.

A hint of the old-time hard-boiled detective fiction in the plot pace and snappy dialogue in Fatal Affair. Nick Cappuano is decisive and clever – and probably should have been a detective himself! Sam is emotional perhaps, but also professional, and we will discover – insightful. This is a fast read and a puzzling page-turner: Romance and mystery fans alike will enjoy Fatal Affair.