In The Search, the latest book by Christiane Heggan, the author throws readers right into the action at the very beginning and never lets the pace slacken. As the story opens, readers meet prosecutor (and heroine) Sydney Cooper immediately after she’s won a difficult criminal case. Afterward, Syd goes to meet her friend Lilly, an investigative reporter who is then kidnapped right in front of her.
Syd is impressed by the local police chief handling Lilly’s disappearance, but, since she is also deeply concerned about her friend, she decides to do some investigating of her own. After all, Syd knows Lilly better than anyone, so she’ll have a better idea where to look in order to find things that may have been important to Lilly and to the stories she investigated.
Much to Syd’s surprise, her new neighbor Jake Sloan also seems concerned about Lilly’s disappearance – not to mention very much inclined to deepen his acquaintance with Syd. Unknown to Syd, however, Jake has come home to Philadelphia at the request of the FBI. His former commanding officer from his DELTA force days is under investigation and the FBI needs Jake to help them gather information.
The suspense plot in this novel unfolds very smoothly for the most part. Unlike many characters, Syd is relatively level-headed and, as a prosecutor, she has a good sense of what not to do and even though she does get herself into some rather dangerous situations along the way, none of them make her seem TSTL. In addition, Syd has a healthy respect for the investigators and she does not set up her quest to find Lilly as “Syd vs. the System”. Unfortunately, the many strands of plot in this tale sometimes intersect in truly unbelievable ways, but that was my only real quibble with the story.
When readers first meet Jake’s character, he sometimes seems just a little too good to be true. The perfect soldier who has (unjustly, of course) fallen from grace is a hero seen a little too often in romance. However, Jake is not a one-dimensional character and, while I had more trouble relating to him than to Syd, he is still likable.
While there is a minimum of romance in this thriller, there is so much intense action in the story that any romantic element would have to be fairly subtle in order to be believable. Heggan does a good job of balancing the romance and suspense in this novel so that neither element interferes implausibly with the other.
In spite of a few bobbles with the plot and Jake’s character, I found myself drawn into the action of this story very easily and The Search is one of the better suspense thrillers I have read in a while. Heggan is a new author to me, but I will certainly investigate her backlist.
I enjoy spending as much time as I can between the covers of a book, traveling through time and around the world. When I'm not having adventures with fictional characters, I'm an attorney in Virginia and I love just hanging out with my husband, little man, and the cat who rules our house.
|Review Date:||January 11, 2005|
|Book Type:||Romantic Suspense|