Words fail me. I'm in awe. What a hard punching, action packed, emotional roller-coaster ride of a book. As it's very difficult to put into words how this book got to me I've decided to split my review into three main parts or threads which I feel were running through this book.1) The Action
The plot was well thought out. A perfect timeline of past events culminating in one big, heart-stopping, showdown for a final scene. This alone is the stuff films are made of. We get to know a new character, Liam, who is your epitomy of an NIA spook. Never really knowing who's side he is on for sure and even at the end left with many open questions. I really liked this character, sometimes I hated him, but then something surprising would happen and then I would find myself sympathising with him. As for Ty and Zane well, these guys pack a mean punch as would be expected from two rough and tough FBI agents. Real men in a men's world. I loved the final showdown where all the threads come together and Ty and Zane have to face their history and all the damage they have caused people along the way. The suspense was built up really well throughout the book with more surprises then you could shake a stick at. Lots of bullets, explosions and chases. Action all the way!2) The Secrets
WOW, what a bombshell this book was. An encylopedia of secrets all coming out in one foul swoop that left me reeling. First Ty, what a revelation his confessions were, left poor Zane dumbfounded and asking himself would he ever be able to trust Ty ever again. Ty had been undercover for so long he had lost touch with the real Ty. A military machine programmed to take and obey orders without question like Pavlov's dogs. His faith in king and country and sense of duty never let him question his actions, motives or moral convictions for such behaviour. I was in the military and know these types exist, it's what the military needs but on the other hand they are also to be pitied. Zane is also not without his past, but in this book Ty really becomes Zane's nemesis and all that he believes in Ty comes crashing down around his ears. Again here all the secrets, subterfuge and undercover assigments are totally believable as this is what these guys do. At some stage it was going to form a wedge between them or any relationship and felt in this book everything really came to a head. As for Zane encountering Ty in the bar with his wife many years before I find this totally plausible.
I speak here from personal experience because exactly that kind of story happened to me with my current partner now of 14 years. So here I would like to share to make my feelings on this part clear. I met my partner in a subway station while I was still in a reltionship, I had aeroplanes in my stomach, stars in my eyes the full works. Anyway, we met shortly for lunch one day and after this not wanting to sacrifice my current reltionship went out of my way not to go to that subway station or use the same route. Eight years passed and my, now ex-partner did the light fandago on me for someone else overnight and left me totally high and dry. Three months later as I was teaching at a company in another town and someone talked to me in the coffee room and immediatley these feelings I had eight years before came back. I didn't realise at the time who it was only recognised those feelings. Later it dawned on me I have only ever once had that feeling and that was eight years ago. A week later I went back and asked him if he ever worked in the city and his answer was yes and that he remembered meeting some English guy for lunch and had never forgot as the feelings were mutual. He had hoped for a long time to see me again in the subway station, but never did. So eight years between with no contact and the feelings are there even if the recognition of faces fades with time. The rest is history. 14 years later still together and married for 10!
Fate is inexorable and for all the eye-rolling cynics out there who disbelieved this part of the story, all I can say is shit like this does happen. I know.3) The Emotions
Probably the most harrowing part of this book. First it is obvious they both have very different views, Zane the cynical rationalist and Ty the one who believes in fate and Voodoo. Then comes the meltdown; Ty spills the beans and leaves Zane dazed, dumbfounded, hurt and confused. I think Zanes reactions were totally normal after being confronted with Ty's revelations. Any trust they had in the beginning was now totally destroyed and left Zane asking himself whether he ever really knew Ty at all. I feel men process feelings completely different to women and Zane's reactions of lashing out, being aggresive, hitting the bottle, getting punchy and sulky was totally normal and expected. Especially from a tough alpha male whose emotions are already stunted due to the job and his circumstances. Ty is his whole world, his reason for existing and this most of hurt like hell! I probably would have punched Ty myself! On the other hand my heart also completely went out to Ty as well. He is obvioulsy more confused and in need of support and guidance then he would like to admit. Programmed to perform and not think, this is to be pitied. He realises what this has done to Zane and is truly sorry, but Zane acting the way he does doesn't make things easier for Ty. All the way through you are never left in any doubt that the love Ty feels for Zane goes a lot deeper than any sense of duty and has an internal struggle to balance these things out. Even right up to the end where Ty proves he always was and is still prepared to take a bullet for Zane. To quote the oldest book in the world"A greater love hath no man"
and this is defintitely what Ty proved in the end. However, it was obvious that Ty could not be the one and only reason for Zane functioning, Zane needed to find himself as his own person to be able to save their relationship too. Ty made this clear even though it wasn't for Zane. Ty gave him the time and space to get his shit together which made for one of the most powerful and emotional reunion scenes I have read.Conclusion
This book had me by the balls from the very first chapter, shook me, shocked me, and left me emotionally wrung out. The best book in the whole series so far. I just ask myself how Abi ever thinks she is going to top this one.
This was my first buddy read with my GR friends, Gina, Tina, Macky and Bev. It was a mind blowing experience being able to share how I'm feeling about the book whilst reading. Great experience! Will definitely have to do it again guys.