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Tuesday 4 October 2011

Expendable by Maggie Jamieson

This is not a book to start reading if you have a busy day ahead of you – you won't want to put it down!

I was gripped from the start with the early introduction of a murdered woman, Tanya, who is found by an ex Special Ops Marine soldier, Reed Adler, with a severely traumatised young boy by her side.  While Reed tries to establish the boy's relationship to this woman and break through his barrier of silence, he has his own demons to face after serving in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the dead woman's sister, Jenna, has to deal with her grief, intensified by the fact that when they last met 10 years previously, not only did they have a bitter confrontation, but it was to be the last time they saw each other.

Her sister's murderers catch up with Jenna and fate unites her with the nephew she never knew existed and the man who found and looked after him.  Reed, Jenna, his close Marine comrades and her nearest friends work together to find Tanya's murderers and uncover an unscrupulous, immoral and unethical operation by a deranged and delusional doctor scientist.

Maggie tells a very good story:  her style is easy, uncomplicated and very readable, her characters are well-conceived:  the camaradie between Reed and his ex-Marine associates is warming and his PTSD is particularly poignantly portrayed; it weighs heavily against the undeniable and inevitable attraction he feels for Jenna.  Maggie depicts an evil villain with conviction;  there is a perfect balance of action, tension and romance in this book.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

This review was originally written for The Romance Reviews

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