Critical Alliance is Elizabeth Goddard’s third book in the, Rocky Mountain Courage series. I’ve read the first two books, Present Danger and Deadly Target, enjoyed them and was excited to read her newest novel.
The story centers on two main characters, Mackenzie Hanson and Alex Knight. Mackenzie has been doing well in her cybersecurity career at a university in Michigan. Yet it seems like she can’t get away from her youthful criminal past when she receives a warning about cybersecurity issues with her family’s business. Though she’s been estranged for many years, Mackenzie feels compelled to go home and try to help with the hope of redeeming her past mistakes. Mackenzie’s path will once again cross with Alex Knight a Special Agent with the Diplomatic Security Services. Alex has come home to Montana to get some rest following an assignment that went wrong. But cases seem to find him even when he’s on vacation.
There were some elements that I liked about this book. Cybersecurity is an interesting theme for a mystery novel. I liked Alex and his friends in Montana that were carried over from the earlier novels. The backdrop in Montana was a beautiful setting, the descriptions were well written so the reader could imagine what the settings were like.
Where I struggled with this book was the main character, Mackenzie. I found her to be arrogant with delusions of grandeur to the point of irritating. I couldn’t see why Alex was attracted to Mackenzie, much less why he would risk her career for her or go along with her schemes. The characters were shallow and the focus was on action and intrigue. The characters were not well developed. I enjoy reading Christian fiction, especially when faith is included in the characters’ lives. But this book didn’t include much regarding faith.
Not sure if I recommend Critical Alliance because the characters were not well developed. It’s shallow and relies on action and intrigue over a richer and deeper story. The book focused on lots of details about cyber security instead of characters. I will read more books by Elizabeth Goddard because I’ve enjoyed her earlier novels.
I would like to thank Baker Publishing Group and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of Critical Alliance by Elizabeth Goddard. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.
Since I had enjoyed Elizabeth Goddard’s earlier mysteries, I was excited to read her newest book, Present Danger the first book in the Rocky Mountain Courage series.
Present Danger is filled with suspense, mystery, and intrigue from the get-go. Private pilot Chance Carter is taking off with a package containing something illegal and headed to a small airstrip in Montana. He should have listened to that nagging uneasy feeling. But when his airplane is about to crash, he’s just trying to survive. The next two chapters seem disjointed from the first chapter. We are introduced to Sheriff’s Detective Jack Tanner and US Forest Service Special Agent Terra Connors. They will be joining forces to investigate the questionable death of a local citizen, Jim Raymond, found in the forest. Jack and Terra’s relationship goes way back, but they haven’t seen each other in years. Their relationship didn’t end on a good note however they will strive to put their personal feelings aside and solve this case.
Parts of the book I found interesting, like learning about different aspects of law enforcement in remote forested areas and the illegal sale of Native American artifacts. However, I thought the book had issues that took away from the storyline and characters.
Present Danger very convoluted and packed with details that did not contribute to the story. There were too many characters, it was hard to keep track of all of them. While Jack and Terra had a history, there didn’t seem to be much romance between them. I kind of liked Jack, but his insecurities that he had carried with him all these years (not based on his own failings or history) got kind of old. It seemed like an unnecessary element and focus of the story. I can’t recall if Jack ever told Terra why years before he left town without saying goodbye. He didn’t come clean and explain what he had overheard her grandfather say. It bothers me when things in the storyline don’t make sense, like when a character does something illogical that puts themself in danger. Also, there came a point when Terra should have been removed from the case but she wasn’t. One of the biggest surprises at the end came out of nowhere and didn’t seem believable.
Elizabeth Goddard describes scenery really well so that the reader can imagine what the place looks like or the characters are experiencing. She’s done her research and knows jobs and locations well. But I don’t recommend this book because of the negatives in the story: too many characters; too many unnecessary details that distract instead of moving the story forward; and not making the characters compelling enough to care about them.
While this book has been published by a Christian publisher there wasn’t much concerning the Christian faith in the book.
I would like to thank Revell Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of Present Danger by Elizabeth Goddard. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.