GONE TOO FAR
Ballantine, July 2003
Reviewed by Barbara Fielding
Suzanne Brockmann's long awaited tale of Sam Starrett and Alssya Locke is finally here. Their on-again off-again romance has been carried over throughout the SEAL Team Sixteen series, working fans into a frenzied state of expectation. Well, the payoff is everything they could ever hope for. Multiple plots answer the questions about whose body lies on the kitchen floor in Sarasota, Florida, and brings resolution to other burning questions about Tom and Kelly and Max and Gina.
Lt. Sam Starrett, the foul-mouthed, redneck Navy SEAL, has made more than his share of mistakes. On a trip to Sarasota to get his soon-to-be ex-wife to sign their divorce papers, Sam finds the decomposing body of a woman on the kitchen floor where his wife and daughter were living. With no sign of his baby daughter, Haley, Sam calls on friends and colleagues from the FBI Counterterrorism Team to investigate. Sam immediately becomes the prime suspect. Wracked with fear over his daughter's whereabouts, Sam eludes cooperation with authorities in order to conduct his own personal search for Haley.
Alssya Locke, the buttoned down, in-control FBI Agent for the elite Counterterrorism Team, is forced into close contact with the man who eviscerated her heart. They are given a forty-eight hour window to search for his daughter before Sam must turn himself in to authorities. Working together, they are unable to run away from the unfinished business and the pull of attraction between them. Alssya discovers Sam's rough-around-the-edges demeanor covers a sensitive and caring heart. During their race to find his daughter, Alssya finally learn about the buried childhood events that produced the man who answers to many different names; Sam, Roger, Ringo and Houston to name a few, and learns about the extraordinary people who saved his life: cousin Noah Gaines and his wife Claire, plus a former Tuskegee Airman and father-figure, Lt.Col. Walter Gaines.
Max Bhagat, hostage negotiator and leader of the Counterterrorism Team, and Gina Vitagliano, the young hostage featured in OVER THE EDGE, make a return appearance in this novel. Gina has grown into a beautiful but vulnerable young woman who hasn't forgotten her love for the man who got her through the worst hours of her life. The investigation brings Max into contact with the one woman he is trying to forget. Even though he knows he should stay clear of her, the highly disciplined, totally professional FBI agent loses his heart. And Gina finds a way to completely unmask Max and glimpse the man he's never allowed anyone else to see.
Commander Tom Paoletti, top officer of SEAL Team Sixteen, is arrested on suspicion of aiding terrorists. His fiancée, Kelly Ashton, and all of Team Sixteen work from the West Coast, piecing together information from Sam and Alssya's investigation, tracking down leads they hope will clear Tom. Tom and Kelly's mettle is tested to the max by events that threaten to tear them apart.
Top notch suspense with seamlessly plotted stories produce an incredibly good novel. I loved every page. The novel could have been titled THE REDEMPTION OF ROGER STARRATT. Ms Brockmann has a real gift for taking disreputable characters, stripping their soul bare, pushing them past all limits, then creating a moment of truth that brings about their redemption. The icing on the cake comes in the added drama of Tom Paoletti and his fiancé, Kelly, as well as the delicious treat in Max and Gina's showdown.
GONE TOO FAR is the hardback debut for much loved author Suzanne Brockmann. Ms. Brockmann began writing Navy SEAL theme books for Silhouette Intimate Moments in 1996 and later developed a SEAL Team Sixteen series published by Ballantine. The series began with THE UNSUNG HERO followed by THE DEFIANT HERO, OVER THE EDGE, OUT OF CONTROL and INTO THE NIGHT.
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