Sam Tremaine has no respect for Juliette Morrow, a woman he believes has no honor. He does appreciate the skills, though, of the woman he believes is the cat burglar known as le petit voleur. The CIA agent needs her expertise to steal the evidence he needs to catch a man with terrorist connections, the same man Juliette has been targeting in all of her thefts. His mission is top-secret and personal, and he’ll do anything to obtain her cooperation, even resort to blackmail.
No one suspects Juliette of the thefts since all of Europe believes they are the work of a man. She has very personal reasons for targeting her victims and taking their priceless treasures, and so far her plan has been perfectly executed. Then American attorney Sam Tremaine walks into her life and threatens to turn her over to the authorities if she doesn’t cooperate with him. But if Sam thinks she’s going to be easy to control, she’ll soon prove how wrong he is.
I really enjoy stories about thieves and cat burglars, particularly female ones, because the characters tend to be so clever. It’s kind of hard to have a heroine who’s capable of intricate heists also be TSTL. Entrapment is a good example of this, an exciting cat and mouse game between two very smart, very determined, and well-matched combatants. Juliette is a terrific heroine. She’s tough, skilled and intelligent, if maybe a little too obviously influenced by Catherine Zeta-Jones in the movie Entrapment, right down to a scene where she slithers through a network of laser beams wearing a tight black bodysuit. Of course she’s given a motivation that makes her stealing morally acceptable, and the man both she and Sam are after is downright evil, but I never got the impression that she was being watered down to make her more relatable like some romance heroines. Her motivation doesn’t make her any less kick-ass.
It’s always nice to see heroines who are every bit the equal of the hero, not only in attitude but in deed, and Juliette is more than capable of going toe-to-toe with Sam. The back-and-forth gamesmanship of their relationship in the early stages is a lot of fun. Books with one unconventional character always run the risk of having the other person seem bland in comparison. That doesn’t happen with Sam, a hero whose intelligence and determination make him just as compelling a character as Juliette, and this is coming from someone who’s really burned out on secret agent heroes. The difference is that Sam is just as clever as the heroine and shows enough dark humor to make him more interesting than the usual one-note upstanding agent type.
But Entrapment isn’t a great love story as it’s driven more by action than emotion. It’s hard to believe that what’s forming between Juliette and Sam – in the middle of everything in such a short timespan – is a forever kind of love. But the story is so much fun that it doesn’t matter. The book is packed with action, adventure, and romance in a plot that takes the characters from Paris to Austria and back again. It may be plot and action-driven, but the characters are compelling enough to make them worth caring about. Brant does a great job capturing the appeal of capers conducted under cover of night. All of which makes the book first-rate entertainment, and one of the better reads I’ve come across this year.