Hide in Plain Sight
Even if there’s nothing outstanding or truly out of the ordinary here, Hide in Plain Sight is, nevertheless, a satisfying novel of romantic suspense.
I’ve enjoyed Michele Albert in the past, but I haven’t kept up with the author’s books centering on a group of black market art recovery operatives. Fortunately, even though a few references to characters from previous books undoubtedly sailed right over my head, it was certainly easy enough to step in here.
Operative Griff Laughton has his sights set on taking down a Big Bad guy who’s long been his nemesis. His plan is seemingly simple: to set up a trap and wait for the Big Bad to take the bait. Though she’s totally unaware of her precarious position, that bait just happens to be L.A. antiquarian bookstore owner Fiona Kennedy.
An expert in playwright Christopher Marlowe, Fiona finds herself more than tempted by the mysterious Griff’s offer to give her the chance to authenticate (or not) a purported original Marlowe manuscript – just as she’s intrigued by his obvious interest in her. Fiona has only recently been declared a widow following the mysterious disappearance of her husband years earlier and, not surprisingly, finds herself seriously considering once again exploring the world of men – even if only on a one-night stand basis. With a sexy, available man telegraphing his interest so clearly, what has Fiona got to lose?
Fiona and Griff share a passionate night that ends more than a bit abruptly the following morning when the two discover an obvious break-in upon their return to her shop. When Fiona receives a phone call at the same time indicating that her missing husband just might be alive, she instantly realizes that Griff – the man she took to her bed – is far more than he appears to be.
Quite frankly, this is all pretty standard romantic suspense stuff. Smart heroine, tough but vulnerable hero, and Big Bad guys. But – and I’ve been reading a lot of romantic suspense lately – Hide in Plain Sight is above the average due to the author’s skill in telling her story and in creating her characters. Yes, this is an over-the-top story told in an over-the-top way, but the characters are always real people with real vulnerabilities who never felt cartoon-y or artificially kick-ass-y to me. In short, this is a smart book for smart readers. And can I be honest? As someone who’s just about had it with all those stereotypical kick-ass heroines permeating (or is it infecting?) the genre these days, I’ll take real woman Fiona over your basic Bombshell type any day of the week.
Bottom line? If you’re a Michele Albert fan, I think you’ll enjoy Hide in Plain Sight. If you like smart romantic suspense but haven’t yet tried the author, I’d bet the same. This is good – if not great or particularly outstanding – stuff.