Alex Ward has been on a mission since she was five years old, though she hasn’t always been aware of it. That was the year her mother left her and her father and disappeared.
Now a twenty-year-old college student and already an experienced investigative journalist, Alex is about to make a discovery that rocks her basic beliefs about herself, sets her on a path that puts her at odds with her boyfriend Dylan Chaves, and makes her question the goals she may have sacrificed everything for.
Once it was Dylan’s secrets that endangered their love. Are Alex’s secrets about to do the same?
Many thanks to the author, Jamie Jeffries, who provided me a free copy of this entire series (yes, she’s THAT awesome) in exchange for my honest review.
***small spoiler alert***
While the previous book, Fatal Divide, focused mostly on Dylan, Fatal Intent’s main character is most definitely Alex Ward. When we were first introduced to these characters in Fatal Exposure, Alex and Dylan had just reunited, over an unidentified body found in the desert. The more that she investigated, the more Alex was moved by the sheer number of unidentified remains that were found by law enforcement; many of which remained unidentified. Hoping to have a hand in giving families of missing people some closure, Alex started a blog listing the cases of these remains. Despite her father’s and Dylan’s misgivings about her security, Alex has kept up this blog throughout this series. Alex has another reason for her passion for this subject: her mom has been missing since she was a small child. She just left one day, and never came back. Paul, Alex’s father, has never filed for divorce, and seems to have spent the years since she left alternately mourning her “loss” or waiting for her to come back. I found it curious when it was mentioned, and wondered just what the story was with her mom.
Some time has passed since the events in Fatal Divide, and happily Dylan has won custody of his two little brothers. Sadly though, his mom passes away, finally at peace after her long battle with the cancer that stole her mind and her mobility. While Dylan is in the midst of dealing with the complex emotions of grief and relief Alex wins a journalistic prize for the story of her kidnapping that she wrote. She keeps the news to herself at first out of respect. As time passes she breaks the news to Dylan that she wants to take the prize money and move to Casa Grande so that she will be closer to school. Dylan is torn about the move, as you might expect: he doesn’t want to lose his girlfriend, and he has come to depend on her more and more for help with the boys. He soon realizes that he is taking her for granted in that. I’ll admit there were a few times in this book that I wanted to smack him. To be fair, I wanted to smack Alex a few times too. Alex moves, and Dylan tries to visit her as much as possible.
While in Casa Grande she continues her work on her blog completely naive to anyone who may cause her harm because of it. She becomes more involved with Native politics, joining a protest group that Wanda (Dylan’s aunt) suggests. The group is trying to bring awareness to the same issue that Wanda was, the fact that the Native lands and people were split by the border with Mexico. There are those within the tribe that feel that Native peoples affected by this border should not have to file for and use passports to travel within what was once all Native land. This fight has gotten tangled up with the issue of illegal immigrants crossing the border. There are vast numbers of people who are against any type of border crossing, and don’t care to make the distinction between Natives and Latinos. As a fair few of these illegal immigrants are ferrying drugs from the South American cartels, a group known as the Patriots advocates the “kill em all” approach to the problem. Alex attends some of the groups’ functions, but it’s not long before the leader of the Native group is attacked, and left for dead. The woman is found, thankfully, but loses her leg due to her injuries. The Patriots are suspected, but there is no solid proof of their involvement. That was all Alex needed to start her own in depth investigation of this dangerous group.
Alex starts investigating them despite Paul and Dylan’s warnings to be careful. Her search gets deeper, and soon she finds herself looking into the case of the girl who lived with her roommates before her. Her roommates reported that the girl just up and left one day with no explanation. She speaks to the girls parents and find out that she has been missing for months. Her trail also leads back to the protest group and ultimately to the Patriots. Meanwhile, Dylan is trying his best to keep their love alive, but weekend visits just ain’t cutting it anymore. He starts looking into transferring his job out of Organ Pipe to Tempe, specifically to be close to Alex when she transfers to Phoenix for school. He asks her to move in with him when the transfer comes through. She agrees, but has become so involved with her investigation that their relationship suffers. She learns something about her mom that totally turns her worldview on it’s ear, and causes a rift between her and her father. She throws herself into getting deeper with the Patriots, disguising herself and eventually joining the group. She is playing a very dangerous game, and at any minute could find herself found out. She is getting closer and closer to becoming unidentified remains herself.
This whole series is phenomenal, and this book is the best of the three. The action is non-stop, and the romance is both sweet and hot. This was an epically great story about a relevant topic, and you can't help but come away from it with your consciousness raised for the plight of the victims described. I would love to see another book in this series someday.
About the Author:
Jamie Jeffries is the pen name of a successful author with published novels under other pen names in addition to her titles under this name. She likes to bring a bit of the unusual, the unlikely and the humorous to her plots. Jamie brings you heroines who overcome hard challenges, sweet, sexy heroes with a hint of alpha male, and side characters you'll love to hate or laugh with.
When she isn't writing (which is almost never) Jamie enjoys reading, hiking in the foothills near Denver, live blues music, karaoke and now and then indulging in her karaoke habit.
Jamie would love to let you know when she releases a new book, runs a promotion on an existing title, or has a giveaway running. Please go to www.jamiejeffriesbooks.com and join her fan community! You'll receive a complimentary ebook copy of Jamie's first novel, Impermanent, in appreciation.
Caution: whether reading or writing, Jamie bites when interrupted in the middle of a good chase scene, whether it's bad guys chasing the hero in cars, or the hero chasing the heroine around the bedroom.