Formats available: paperback, ebook, audiobook
Series: Finnegan Connection #1
Published by Harlequin Intrigue on January 17th 2017
Purchasing Info: Author's Website, Publisher's Website, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository
Trust the enemy?
Desperate to escape her kidnappers, Kody Cameron can turn to only one man—and he's holding a gun. Outnumbered and trapped in the deadly Everglades, she has little recourse, but something in this captor's eyes makes her believe she can trust him. Does she dare to take the risk?
Undercover agent Nick Connolly has met Kody before and knows she might very well blow his cover. Though determined to maintain his facade, he can't let Kody die. He won't. And his decision to change his own rules of law and order are about to make all hell break loose.
The Finnegan Connection
A while back, I read some of Heather Graham’s Krewe of Hunters series and really liked them. But it’s a big series and I’m going to need a large round tuit to get caught up. So when Law and Disorder came up as the first book in a new series, it seemed like a great chance to get in on the ground floor.
But I’m not sure that I did.
Law and Disorder is a quick and enjoyable read, but it doesn’t feel like the first book in a series. There are lots of references to the main characters in her other recent started series, New York Confidential. To the point where the Finnegan Connection feels like a side-series to New York Confidential. That connection being Finnegan’s Pub in New York City, which seems to be the centerpiece for the other series.
Nick and Kody, the hero and heroine in Law and Disorder are both friends of those Finnegans, and they actually bumped into each other, very briefly, one night at Finnegan’s. A chance encounter that helps to set up what would otherwise be a case of insta-love in Law and Disorder, mixed with just a bit of Stockholm Syndrome.
That earlier encounter takes the romance out of squicky territory, considering the way that the couple meets in this story. She thinks that he’s an upstanding (so to speak) member of the criminal gang that has just taken her and her entire staff hostage while they search for a mythical treasure. When she finally remembers where she’s seen him before, she also remembers that he’s no criminal, but rather an FBI agent who must be undercover in this mess.
She’s still kidnapped, and her captors still want that mythical treasure. Even weirder, they expect her to find it. And she just might.
Kody Cameron is an expert on her family’s strange heritage – the former home of mobster Jimmy Crystal and its extremely checkered history. A former resident of the Crystal Palace left tantalizing clues to a never recovered bank heist of gold and gems, and the kidnappers think that if they put enough pressure on Kody she’ll be inspired to discover a trove that may have been swallowed by the Florida Everglades.
And so might they.
Escape Rating C+: Law and Disorder is a relatively short book, somewhere in that uncomfortable length between novel and novella. And it probably should have been just a bit longer.
It’s a quick, fun read, but that skimpy length forced the author to short a bit on both character development and on background. And this is a story whose plot relies on a lot of that missing background.
It is possible that some of the missing character development is in Flawless, the first book in the New York Confidential series that introduces the Finnegans and Nick’s FBI handler on this case, Craig Frasier.
It’s also possible that we’re meant to just go with the instant connection between FBI agent Nick Connolly and Kody Cameron. After all, he does rescue her. But I am left wondering.
The big piece of background that feels missing is the history of Kody’s Crystal Palace and the mob bosses of Florida. Kody’s expertise on the topic is the reason that Kody gets swept up into this mess. The particular treasure trove in question has been missing for decades, and lots of things and people have been swallowed up by the Everglades. The way that Kody sifts through the tiny clues and puts the pieces together is a process that usually takes days and lots more research. The treasure hunt alone could have made a fascinating story as well as all the dirt on what happened long ago and how Kody figures it all out now. I would love to have read that book.
It might also have explained how and why the ringleader of this band of thugs became so obsessed with the old stash. It all feels like a bit of a missed opportunity.
All in all, this was a fun, quick read. And it whetted my reading appetite for the New York Confidential series, which is only two books in. Finnegan’s sounds like a great place!
~~~~~~ TOURWIDE GIVEAWAY ~~~~~~
Heather and Harlequin are giving away a $25 Gift Card to one lucky participant in this tour!