Tuesday, September 29, 2015

DiAnn Mills: Deadlock

By Kelly Bridgewater

Synopsis from Amazon:

From Amazon
Two murders have rocked the city of Houston. Are they the work of a serial killer, or is a copycat trying to get away with murder?

That is the question facing Special Agent Bethany Sanchez, who is eager for her new assignment in violent crimes but anxious about meeting her new partner. Special Agent Thatcher Graves once arrested her brother, and he has a reputation for being a maverick. Plus, their investigative styles couldn’t be more opposite: he operates on instinct, while she goes by the book.

When hot leads soon fizzle out, their differences threaten to leave them deadlocked. But an attempt on their lives turns up the heat and brings them closer together, and a third victim might yield the clue that will help them zero in on a killer. This could be the case of their careers . . . if they can survive long enough to solve it.

My Thoughts:

I truly enjoy DiAnn Mills’ writing. Her catch phrase is Expect an Adventure and that is exactly what I hope for when I open one of her books and plop down in a chair with my toffee nut latte. I want to be taken away, hunting for a killer while watching the police hunt for evidence. Read my thoughts on Firewall and Double Cross, the first two books in the FBI: Houston series. Mills’ latest Deadlock fits right into the suspense genre even though it was completely conventional.

The first thing I love about Mills writing is all the accurate police details. I have followed Mills on Facebook for a while, and I have seen all the research with the Citizen’s Police Academy’s, so I know her research will be spot on. There is not a moment in the story that I don’t believe her telling how the police do their jobs. I trust it all. Plus, the officer’s authenticity kept me engrossed in the story.

Bethany and Thatcher make an interesting partnership. First, Bethany wants to see justice done with her brother, Lucas, and refuses to allow him to roam free after creating deadly mistakes for his life.  Bethany is pushed out of her family because of her choices to put him behind bars for his troubles. I really liked Bethany’s strong values and determination to solve the murder and help her brother at the same time. On the other hand, Thatcher had a bad relationship with his father, who died before he could fix it. Thatcher became a Christian weeks before the story started, so he tries hard to show his Christianity, not preach at others. That is what all of us Christians should aim for.

The conflict was original but slow. I like a mystery that keeps the readers and the characters on their toes. Deadlock was really formulaic. The story starts with a dead body. Interview the family members. Interview employees. Another dead body. Try to find a connection. Something happens to the hero or heroine. More interviews. Almost death experience. Incident or struggle with the bad person. Bad person overcome. Marriage proposal.  I had a hard time wanting to return to Deadlock. Plus, the romance was pretty cheesy. I really didn’t believe Bethany and Thatcher were falling in love. It just made for a good romantic suspense.

In conclusion, DiAnn Mills’ Deadlock missed the mark for me as a mystery because it was totally predictable and formulaic. I would like to have seen the story push the limit on the originality. Even though the idea and the reasoning behind the story were original, I still had a hard time getting lost in the plot.

I received a complimentary copy of Deadlock from Tyndale Publishing and the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Purchase Deadlock

Bonus Material:

Tyndale kindly provided a video of DiAnn Mills talking about what inspired her to write Deadlock. Enjoy!

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