In this taut debut thriller, Nichole Christoff introduces a savvy private investigator with nerves of steel—and a shattered heart.
As a top private eye turned security specialist, Jamie Sinclair has worked hard to put her broken marriage behind her. But when her lying, cheating ex-husband, army colonel Tim Thorp, calls with the news that his three-year-old daughter has been kidnapped, he begs Jamie to come find her. For the sake of the child, Jamie knows she can’t refuse. Now, despite the past, she’ll do everything in her power to bring little Brooke Thorp home alive.
Soon Jamie is back at Fort Leeds—the army base in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens where she grew up, the only child of a two-star general—chasing down leads and forging an uneasy alliance with the stern military police commander and the exacting FBI agent working Brooke’s case. But because Jamie’s father is now a U.S. senator, her recent run-in with a disturbed stalker is all over the news, and when she starts receiving gruesome threats echoing the stalker’s last words, she can’t shake the feeling that her investigation may be about more than a missing girl—and that someone very powerful is hiding something very significant . . . and very sinister.
How hard would that be? To agree to a request for help from an ex-husband who cheated on you? Dang hard, let me tell you. But when it involves a kidnapped 3-year old girl? H-e-double-toothpicks no! You don't mess with kids. But then the bad guys up the ante. Not only is the little girl in danger, but so are you.
Ms. Christoff's writing had me on the edge of my seat many times during my read of The Kill List. I'd like to say I can't imagine being in Jamie Sinclair's situation, but I can. Can't say my life has ever been in danger, but I have been injured. I just can't stand to see someone not in a position to defend themselves is threatened. I think it's a primal urge, whether you're talking real life or in a book. Ok. I know. Enough with the soapbox.
I like it that Jamie succeeds in two very traditionally "men's spheres" - the military and government. Yes, I know, there are quite a number of women in the federal government, but the numbers are by no means representative of the population at large.
Also appreciated is that the 'romance' involved in the book is more than a scorecard for the protagonist's sexual conquests. And I'm not talking about between Jamie and her ex - don't even go there. But there are *ahem* distractions for Jamie. In a series that is not specifically in the romance genre, it helps to have a little sugar in the mix, if only to counterbalance the intrigue, etc.
Speaking of series, The Kill List is the first of a series with Jamie Sinclair as the heroine. The next installment, The Kill Shot, is due I believe in March of 2015. Keep an eye out for both of these books.
Nichole Christoff is a writer, broadcaster, and military spouse who has worked on air and behind the scenes producing and promoting content for radio, television news, and the public relations industry across the United States and Canada. Christoff is a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime and the Jane Austen Society of North America. She also belongs to the Private Eye Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and three of RWA’s local chapters where she’s served as an officer and a member of the board. In Christoff’s first year as a member of RWA, her first manuscript won the Golden Heart for Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements. Her second manuscript won a 2011 Helen McCloy Scholarship from the Mystery Writers of America. Her latest work, The Kill List, is a 2014 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense nominee.
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(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.)