Waking Nightmare: The Mindhunters
Berkley, 2009 (2009)
Reviewed by Martina Bexte
fter writing numerous category romantic suspense stories for Harlequin, Brant spreads her wings and introduces her first mainstream suspense title,
. Readers are introduced to Abbie Phillips, an expert criminal profiler and member of an exclusive private consulting firm - who call themselves
- based out of Washington D.C..
s the story opens, Savannah based Detective Ryne Robel is dealing with mounting pressure from his superiors to find a brutal serial rapist before he strikes again. Without solid clues or a single shred of evidence left at any of the crime scenes, Ryne and his team are stymied - until Abbie joins them. Ryne has little use for private consultants and in particular, the typical criminal profiler's '
psychobabble and head games
'. But Abbie does not consider herself
and vows to uncover that one elusive clue. She begins reviewing the case files and conducting personal interviews with several of the victims, and quickly uncovers a pattern that Ryne cannot ignore. As the attacks escalate and media pressure mounts, it's a race against time to stop a devious psychopath whose dark obsession turns to the profiler who has dared to reach into his mind.
espite a somewhat slow beginning and a villain whose motivation is similar to that of at least one other recent romantic suspense bad guy, Brant creates a gripping, well-paced procedural in
. Ryne and Abbie's characterizations are well done and their attraction and sexual tension stirs up a high degree of steamy heat. A sub-plot involving Abbie and her sister's dark back-story adds even more depth.
is a great launch to the
hits the shelves in early October, to be followed by
Waking the Dead
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