You thought I'd forgotten, didn't you?
After I was so excited to get Into the Fire, you thought I wasn't going to say anything about reading it, didn't you, peeps? Wrong! ;-)

However, since there are some who haven't read it yet, I'll hide everything even remotely spoiler-ish. You'll have to highlight to read those bits. Be warned, if you haven't read the book none of my thoughts will make sense to you (they might not, even if you have read the book). ;-)

Let's see, we'll start with the general non-spoiler stuff. Here's the blurb: Suspense doesn't burn any brighter and desire doesn't run any deeper than when Suzanne Brockmann takes the helm, opens the throttle, and takes readers along for a breathless ride as she breaks the thrill barrier -- again and again. With Into the Fire, Brockmann lights the fuse on her most explosive story yet.

Vinh Murphy -- ex-Marine and onetime operative for the elite security firm Troubleshooters Incorporated -- has been MIA ever since his wife, Angelina, was caught in a crossfire and killed during what should have been a routine bodyguard assignment. Overcome with grief, Murphy blames the neo-Nazi group known as the Freedom Network for her death. Now, years later, Freedom Network leader Tim Ebersole has been murdered -- and the FBI suspects Murphy may have pulled the trigger. To prevent further bloodshed, Murphy's friends at Troubleshooters scramble to find him and convince him to surrender peacefully.

Murphy himself can't be sure what he did or didn't do during the years he spent mourning and lost in an alcohol-induced fog. He does know he occasionally sought solace from Hannah Whitfield, a former police officer and the very friend who'd introduced him to his beloved late wife.

But Hannah, still grappling with the deafness that resulted from an injury sustained while on duty, was fighting her own battles. For years Hannah had feelings for Murphy, and one painful night their suffering brought them together in a way neither expected -- and both regretted.

But finally, Murphy is ready to rejoin the living. As always, he finds himself knocking on Hannah's door, and as always, his longtime friend welcomes him back into her home. Yet even as Murphy slowly rebuilds his splintered life, he continues to fight his growing feelings for Hannah. Then he learned of Ebersole's murder and comes to believe that the Freedom Network has targeted him -- and Hannah -- to avenge their leader's death.

Now Murphy must face the terrifying prospect of losing to violence another woman he loves.

As the Troubleshooters desperately search for him, Murphy races toward a deadly confrontation with the Freedom Network and the ultimate choice: surrender his life in the hopes that Hannah will be spared, or risk everything to salvage whatever future they may have together.

So, yeah, we've got Murphy from Hot Target (my fave of the series, btw) and Hannah - and let me say I so was not expecting her to be deaf. I must have skipped right over that part of the blurb. It wasn't distracting or anything, I just was surprised. Anyhoo, since this is a Troubleshooters book, of course the TS Inc. folks are brought in to help track down Murphy. So we get to see some old friends already living in HEA Land (Tom, Cosmo, Jenkins, even Stan) and some not yet there (Izzy, Gillman, Lopez, Sophia, Decker, Dave).

Now, my thoughts - as is often the case in Suz's books, I was much more interested in the secondary plots than in the main plot. I mean, yes, we got a taste of Hannah and Murphy's past relationship and how it fit together with his first marriage, etc. But it could have been explored more. Still that would have taken away from the other stuff going on - and here's where the hidden stuff starts. Highlight to read on -

Some people have mentioned being disturbed by how very young Eden is (Gillman's sister, for those who haven't read the book..but, if you haven't read the book, what are you doing in here?). I'll admit it gave me pause...I mean just turning 18?! Still, I work around a good many military men and it isn't outside the realm of reality for them to get involved with much younger women so...

I was more disturbed by the whole drugging/video-ing of Eden. Ewwww. Suz had warned her BB readers that this book was much darker than her usual stuff but dang. And that we got descriptions of a good bit of said video?? Yes, it drove home the point that this happens and it is a horrible thing but, maybe, this would have been a good time to exercise the "less is more" principle? Add in the hints about sexual abuse probably being a part of Eden's past and we have a girl with lots of problems to be dealt with in upcoming books. Yup, disturbing.

It speaks well of Suz's talent that I still liked Eden and think she is a good match for Izzy. :o) Who totally donned his Knight in Shining Armor hat in this book. I think he had a pretty good grasp of Eden's character from the beginning so the fact that he still took her on, baggage and all, is just really, really sweet. *sigh* I luvs Izzy.

Next - the Sophia/Decker/Dave triangle. I know I'm in the minority because I don't care if Sophia and Decker end up together or not. I've never been able to see the appeal of that relationship (but I never invested in the Molly/Jones thing, either). Meh. That's just me. And, I have to say after finishing ITF, I am totally on-board with Sophia and Dave getting together. Dave has many unexplored depths, says me. Suz started up the hints about his backstory finally, so yay!

But what about Decker? I say he might be steered toward the new shrink - who has lots of stuff going on that will cause problems, I'm sure. Deck and Dr. Jo seemed to connect, I think. Heaven knows he is a locked up tight dude and it will probably take a professional to pry him open. ;-)

And the whole business with Nash and Tess? Heartbreaking. Maybe this book (well, the next one) will get them on a smoother path.

Other random thoughts - Gillman was an ass all the way through the book and I'm finally getting intrigued by Lopez.

So, what do we know about the next book? It starts right after the end of ITF. It is tentatively titled Dark of Night. The tentative pub-date is January 2009 (woot! finally two books a year!). Suz hasn't said who the main couple will be, yet. I see three possibilities - highlight again (Sophia/Dave, Deck/Dr. Jo, or Izzy/Eden - I/E seems the least likely, although I'm guessing their story arc will move along). Okay, spoilers over again.

Oh, and we get a brief visit from Jules! You know how much I love Jules, peeps. :-D A Suz book without Jules is like a day without sunshine, says me.

So, my final thoughts on Into the Fire - it was a good addition to the Troubleshooters series. More because of the secondary plots than the main plot, yes. But it drives the series onward and, for fans (like me), I say that's what matters. If you've liked the previous Troubleshooters book, you'll like this one too.

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posted by C2 at 9:30 PM | Permalink |


At 8:09 PM, Blogger Stacy~

You know I'm a huge Brockmann fan, so I loved this book, flaws and all. But I have to agree on some of the things - the whole Eden video issue totally icked me out. I don't mind when Suz gets all Public Service Announcement on us, but that didn't make it any easier to read. And I'm still not sure I want her w/ Izzy.

Dave certainly is gettin' more and more interesting, isn't he? I love that, but there's a part of me that is still rooting for Sophia & Decker because they've been so tortured. We shall see...


At 9:54 PM, Blogger C2

Yup - the whole Eden thing was hard to read. I think I skimmed a good bit of it. It just seemed excessive...even if Suz was in PSA mode.

Sophia and Decker have certainly been tortured. But have the been tortured together? It will be interesting to see what happens in Dark of Night.


At 1:54 AM, Blogger CindyS

Yay - I'm glad you liked it. I didn't read the spoiler parts cause I'm trying to stay blind. I'll be reading these books soon though!