"He waited until the woman jogged to the end of the block, her red ponytail making her easy to track. When she turned the corner, he checked to make sure there was no one in sight, then left his car and walked briskly up her driveway to her back door. She lived alone, and he had nothing to worry about as he approached the house. No pets. No alarm. He removed a slim case from a pocket and went to work on the deadbolt. Three minutes and he was in."
Secretive by Sara Rosett is the second book in the 'On the Run' series.
The first book in the series is 'Elusive' and I'll link my review of it here:
There will be spoilers from the first book in this review. If you don't want to know what happens it that one, stop here. Spoilers of Elusive beyond here.
Secretive starts off six months after the events of the last book. Zoe's life has mostly returned to normal, though there has been no contact from Jack since the letter in the last book. The FBI and everyone else believes he's dead, but Zoe knows otherwise. She just wishes she knew a little more. For now, there's her copy-editing job and a hole in the ceiling to occupy her.
That is until she notices a strange, silver car tailing her and watching her house. Her mind goes on red alert. Her life on the LAM may have ended six months ago, but it seems like only yesterday she was running for her life. When she manages to lose the mysterious car, she believes she's safe. Until an unmarked, white van shows up when she's out for a jog, and the occupants come after her.
At the same time, the FBI are interested in her once more, as the money from the frozen GRS account has gone missing again. Feeling increasingly unsettled, she decides to act when a package arrives with her missing wedding ring, and a string of numbers in it, and a postmark from London. It has to be Jack. She needs to lay low anyway, why not visit London?
Maxing out all her cards, she picks up and leaves, with a brief message to Helen, so her best friend doesn't worry. At the airport, ready to leave, she runs into Sam- a man who rents one of the office spaces left vacant after the GRS affair. He has business in London and happens to be on the same flight, but the events in Italy have made her wary and cautious. How much does she want to tell him? Who can she trust? Is it just a coincidence?
Meanwhile, Victor Costa (a man who used to be part of Camorra- the Naples mafia, and Francesca's husband) has a plan. He's been searching for Jack all these months, but it seems the American really is dead. With his scapegoat out of the picture, it's time to find another. His ex-wife will do.
The plot of this book is very similar to the first, just against a different backdrop. Instead of Vegas and Italy, we have London and Germany. This book is not quite as fast-paced as the first, but it still does its job. I must also commend the author for her ability to end every chapter on a cliffhanger- forcing me to read the next one.
For those who didn't read the first book, or those who's memory of it is a little foggy, there is some recapping of the events from Elusive, making this a stand-alone book as well, though things will be less confusing if you read the first book. Mort and Sato also return in this book, though they're not quite as prevalent in this one. Mort is a couple weeks of from retirement, so I'm wondering who'll partner Sato in the new book.
As you may have realised, Victor Costa is in this book. The mysterious man surrounding Francesca from the first book, makes his first appearance. This story carries on the GRS plot from the first. Nothing was tied up, Jack is still a wanted man and nobody knows who the scammer was.
The ending of this book finally brings it all together in a neat, little bow, and even manages to set up the plot of the next book (at least I think that's what it is) Deceptive- which will be out Fall 2013 according to the author herself. It's heavily implied that Zoe will again come under suspicion and I wonder how many times she can be incriminated before everyone gets fed up, characters and readers alike. For now, it's still as enjoyable as it was in Elusive.
Speaking of, the characters are much the same merry band from the first, with a different bad guy plus henchman. If you liked them in Elusive, you'll like them here. Same goes for the plot. Like I said, basically same plot, different settings.
An enjoyable, fun read, with likeable characters and a little sightseeing mixed in. I will be checking out the next instalment once it's released.
Disclaimer: I received this book from the author. This is not a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% my own.