I think if I had read Tara Janzen’s first two books in this series, I’d have been more at home, but it didn’t take me too long to adjust. The premise for Crazy Wildis far-fetched, but the action is fast and furious. It’s kind of cartoony, but so is 24.
Steele Street is a clandestine government agency set in a garage full of souped up muscle cars with women’s names. The agents are all special forces/hackers/surfer dudes who are not exactly the kind of operatives to inspire someone who is all spit and polish. But they get the job done. The third in Janzen’s series opens with Steel Street Agent Creed Rivera in South America exacting some revenge on the terrorist goons who killed his good friend and partner JT Chronopoulus. That taken care of, Creed stalks Dominika Starkova aka Cordelia Kaplin aka Cody Stark, a supermodel masquerading as a librarian who has ties to a terroist with a nuclear weapon to sell.
Of course Cody is not who she seems. She is being pursued by her father’s business associates (Russian Mafia) who think she knows a lot more than she does. She has no reason to trust Creed and gets away from him several times. Finally Creed tracks her to a rave where she’s captured by a couple of terrorists. Naturally Creed rescues her and gains her trust. During this time, Cody learns of Creed’s tragic past (and anyway…he is beyond hot) and the two of them join forces. But first there’s an interlude in Creed’s jungle penthouse apartment in the garage, then it’s back to chasing and being chased.
Abandon all hope of plausibility if you read this book since there’s not a realistic paragraph to be found. But I really didn’t care much since everything happened so fast that by the time I was saying “yeah, but…” they’d already sped on to the next cliffhanger. I’ll admit to loving techo-thrillers and this book was sorta kinda (well a little bit) like what you’d get if you crossed a lite techno-thriller with a chick lit.
Both Creed and Cody are wounded souls with Bad Things from their past that haunt them throughout the book, but neither of them are particulary angsty characters. Creed especially prefers to handle his demons by knifing them (those who don’t like gore, beware). Cody is more introspective, but she’s more into action than brooding. I liked them both.
There’s quite a few secondary characters, most notably computer hacker/punk/agent Skeeter Bang (my vote for the coolest name ever), a former street kid who is slightly psychic, totally genius and has a tattoo of a lightning bolt that runs all along the side of her body and drives agent Dylan Hart crazy. I think we might be seeing these two again.
This isn’t a perfect book – the POV skips around so much that I was lost a couple of times, and I normally don’t mind head hopping. Also, the characters all way overuse the expression “Geezus”. I wanted a bit more variety in the (pseudo) swearing, but on the whole I had a pretty darn good time reading Crazy Wild. If you enjoy fast paced stories with loads of action this will be right up your alley.