At Close Range
At Close Range is another in Tara Taylor Quinn’s series about The Ivory Nation, a powerful, secretive white supremicist church with members and friends in very high places in Arizona. It was all right, I suppose, but I guessed the identity of the secret villain right off the bat, and the hero and heroine weren’t all that compelling a pair.
Hannah Montgomery is a judge in the criminal court in Phoenix, Arizona. She’s presiding over the trial of Kenny Hill, a member of the Ivory Nation accused of killing an illegal immigrant. Hannah is uneasy since where the Nation goes, trouble follows in their wake. Even after the defendant is found not guilty, Hannah is uneasy. Things keep happening to her. Her car is keyed, her pet cat is run over, her home is trashed and even though the evidence does not point to the Ivory Nation, Hannah is not totally convinced of the group’s innocence.
Meanwhile, Dr. Brian Hampton has his own set of problems. He’s a pediatrician and several of the patients under his care have died of what looks like SIDS. All the patients were Hispanic, and they had come to the free clinic where Brian volunteers. When a detective finds out that Brian’s wife and son had been killed in an accident caused by an illegal immigrant and that Brian has been donating to politicians who are tough on illegal immigration, he gets a search warrant and arrests Brian.
Brian and Hannah have been friends for a long, long time and still are even though Brian has recently begun living with single mother Cynthia Applegate and her son, and Hannah has her own relationship with fellow judge William Horne. One of Brian’s patients had been Hannah’s adopted son who had died of SIDS. As time goes on, it becomes very apparent that Hannah and Brian’s cases are related, and that someone has been passing information to members of the Ivory Nation, but who?
It doesn’t take a super-sleuth to figure out who the guilty party is, I did it right from the start and I am famous for my obtuseness when it comes to guessing whodunit. Early on, we meet the head of the Ivory Nation, Bobby Donahue, who is a nasty little pervert. The final clash between the villain and Brian and Hannah was a potentially exciting one, but it’s truncated and loses all its excitement. I was very disappointed.
As for Brian and Hannah, they were both very gloomy characters. Both of them had lost their loved ones – Hannah’s husband had died of cancer and then her adopted son died, and Brian had lost his wife and child in a crash. Neither of them had totally recovered from their losses and they all spend most of the book walking around with black clouds over their heads. They were decent and upright enough, but the gloom! It was so thick you could barely see the plot at times.
I didn’t dislike At Close Range, but I can’t say I enjoyed it all that much either. It was competently written, but it never really engaged me. I guess that makes it a perfect C.
|Review Date:||January 10, 2009|
|Book Type:||Romantic Suspense|