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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Web of Murder by Faye Daniels

Web of Murder by Faye Daniels
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (168 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Poinsettia

Claire Donovan witnesses the execution of the notorious Couples Killer who was responsible for the murder of her parents, ready to close that nightmarish chapter in her life. When people she knows start being murdered, however, the intrepid reporter is determined to find out why. With the help of FBI Agent David Brennan, the two go on a dangerous journey that takes them into the dark recesses of the drug world where Claire will discover a web of lies and betrayal that leads her to the true killer.

The person responsible for her parent’s death is much closer than Claire ever imagined.

Ms. Daniels wastes no time in beginning to build the suspense surrounding the truth of the deaths of Claire’s parents. Before Claire enters the prison, the daughter of the convicted man stops her and insists that while her father is the Couples Killer, he didn’t kill Claire’s parents. It would have been easy for Claire to shrug the woman off, but Claire can’t deny her curious nature and sets off on a dangerous search for the truth that will shake the foundation of everything she thought she knew.

I admired Claire’s strength from page one. Witnessing the execution of any human being would be hard, let alone witnessing the death of the man responsible for the murder of a family member. Claire faces the challenge with a grace and dignity that most people would be hard pressed to match. Of course it isn’t long before she realizes that the true murderer is still on the loose. Again, Claire’s strength is impressive. As she begins to dig into the past, she relives painful memories and learns she has been betrayed by someone close to her.

As much as I respected Claire’s strength, I was pleased that Ms. Daniels rounded Claire’s character with a softer side. Claire absolutely dotes on her cat, Sonny. I loved the moments when Claire snuggled and played with him. Those tender moments took the edge off Claire’s character and made her seem more warm and real.

Claire was not without her flaws. Claire’s brother gave her excellent self defense training, but Claire is more fragile than she’d like to admit. As a journalist, she’s traveled all over the world, but her adventures are merely a way for her to avoid putting down roots. She has convinced herself that she is strong and doesn’t need anyone. She seems to equate asking for help with weakness. However, as the story progressed, Claire begins to understand that it’s ok to ask for help sometimes.

David Brennan is the classic tough guy. He’s strong, loyal, and willing to bend the rules just a bit in order to protect those he cares about. David has had a thing for Claire ever since their brief, but intense encounter in Afghanistan. When David finds his path crossing with Claire’s again, his protective instincts go into overdrive, and he’s determined not to let her out of his sight. I was very pleased that Ms. Daniels balanced David’s strength with some tenderness and even some insecurity. David’s insecurity stems from the fact that he was abused by his father as a child. Now he fears that his father’s sins may come out in him sometime. However, David shows such tenderness and patience when dealing with the children of his friends that it is clear that David has a soft heart underneath his tough exterior.

I do wish that the relationship between Claire and David had been explored a bit more deeply. They have excellent chemistry. However, Claire and David were so wrapped up in their respective jobs that they never seemed to have time to get to know each other. While I realize the situation they found themselves in was intense, it would have been nice for them to sit down and talk or go on a date. Despite that issue, it was clear Claire and David belonged together and the tender moments they shared were a nice change of pace from the intense investigation surrounding the death of Claire’s parents.

I enjoyed reading Web of Murder. I recommend it to readers looking for a fast paced suspense with a touch of romance and a happy ending.