Thursday, April 25, 2013

NO WAY OUT By Susan Sleeman

The Justice Agency Series

Beginning with a heart-stopping chase on the beach, this suspenseful read almost has you smelling the salt water and hearing the waves crashing. Alyssa Wells, a widow with twins, overhears her deceased husband's partner in the local police force threatening another cop and admitting his involvement in the murder of her husband. In her haste to get away, she makes enough noise to be detected and the chase is on! Racing through a raging storm she struggles up a slippery slope where she literally ends up at the feet of Cole Justice, a man tortured by his own inner demons since serving two tours in Iraq. Having law enforcement experience and army training, Cole quickly assesses the situation and determines Alyssa needs his help.

He willingly offers his service and those of his siblings, all members of the Justice Agency, in investigating and protecting Alyssa from Nolan Saunders, her husband's former partner. Believing her husband died a "dirty cop", she finds that may not be the case and that the man she has allowed to care for her children may be a murderer. Now, she doesn't know who to trust.

From the beginning, Cole and Alyssa's interest in each other is obvious. But Alyssa's mistrust of men, especially those in law enforcement, remains an obstacle to having another man in her life; while Cole continues to struggle with survivor's guilt from the loss of his best friend in Iraq. Add children to the mix and things get even more complicated. Even so, Cole's interaction with Alyssa's children is sweet and poignant.

Tension builds as Alyssa receives warning notes, rocks are thrown through windows, and a house explosion nearly kills both her and Cole while causing Cole to have a flashback to Iraq.

Through it all, both Alyssa and Cole learn that some burdens are too heavy for human effort and must be left to God. So the author's Theme Verse aptly applies: Isaiah 26:3, "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You." Many times in my own life, I have drawn strength and peace from these words.

With a surprise twist and a satisfying epilogue, "No Way Out" is an excellent treat from the pen of Susan Sleeman. The third book in a series about a group of adoptive siblings involved in law enforcement, it stands alone. However, I recommend reading the entire series. I enjoyed the interaction between the siblings and want to know more of their stories. In addition, if you like series books, I highly recommend another of Susan Sleeman's series about the Morgan Brothers.


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