Title: Fatal Invasion by Marie Force
Fatal Series Book Thirteen
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
Book Rating: C+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher
First the fire, then the heat…
A brutal home invasion. Two small traumatized survivors who may have witnessed the horror. Lieutenant Sam Holland has never worked a case quite like this one, in which her eyewitnesses are five-year-old twins. But when Sam steps up in a big way for them, she risks her heart as much as her career.
While Sam and her husband, Vice President Nick Cappuano, go to battle in more ways than one for her tiny witnesses, her colleague Sergeant Tommy “Gonzo” Gonzales battles his own demons. Months of unbearable grief and despair come to a head in an unimaginable way that threatens Gonzo’s status with the department and his relationship with his fiancée, Christina.
With trouble both at the precinct and on the case, Sam struggles to keep her priorities straight at home and at work while trying not to lose her heart to her latest crime victims.
Fatal Invasion by Marie Force is a perplexing mystery with a likable cast of sympathetic characters. Although this newest release is the thirteenth installment in the Fatal series, it can be read as a standalone.
Lieutenant Samantha “Sam” Holland is hoping to go on a foreign trip with her Vice President husband Nick Cappuano when she is called to the scene of a horrific fire which left two people dead. The victims are Jameson and Cleo Beauclair are a wealthy couple who are devoted to their five year twins, Aubrey and Alden. With little known about the Beauclair’s personal lives, Sam, her partner Detective Freddy Cruz and the rest of her team are struggling to solve their murders. Their investigation is also hindered by numerous personal issues plaguing the detectives assigned to the case. With so little information to go on, will Sam and her crew find justice for Jameson and Cleo?
Sam is dedicated to her career and she is a gutsy detective who does not anything or anyway stand in her way during the investigation. She is utterly besotted with Nick and she is angsting over his upcoming trip which is rather out of character for the tough as nails, independent woman she is purported to be. Sam is also quite close to her co-workers which becomes a bit of a problem when one of her detective’s problems interfere with his ability to carry out his duties. Torn between being the boss and a friend, Sam is nonetheless supportive of his efforts to straighten out his life. Balancing out this somewhat heavy story arc is the upcoming wedding of another detective. While interesting, this personal drama quickly overpowers the mystery aspect of the storyline.
The murders of Jameson and Cleo are particularly grisly and Sam and the rest of squad are determined to find their killer. Unexpected information from another law enforcement agency takes the case in a new direction, but Sam tries to keep an open mind as they track down leads. Could the murders be linked to trouble from Jameson’s past? Or did something in the couple’s present day lives lead to their deaths?
Fatal Invasion is a fast-paced mystery but unfortunately, the suspense element is completely overshadowed by the drama in the detectives’ lives. Some aspects of the storyline are rather far-fetched and although the killer’s identity is rather surprising, the resolution of the case falls a little flat. Marie Force tugs on readers’ heartstrings with the emotional scenes with little Aubrey and Alden. Despite the somewhat predictable wrap up, the novel ends on a heartwarming note. It will be interesting to see what will happen with Sam, Nick and the rest of the cast in the next installment of the Fatal series.