Redemption Keyby S. G. Redling (Website, Twitter)
Series: A Dani Britton Thriller #2
Published by Thomas & Mercer on 2014-06-10
Genres: Crime, Espionage, Fiction, General, Mystery & Detective, Thrillers, Women Sleuths
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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Her narrow escape from blue-eyed assassin Tom Booker has made former data analyst Dani Britton question all of her choices—like trusting “good guys” who carry badges. On the run and haunted by the government-sanctioned massacre of her coworkers, Dani finally settles in remote Redemption Key, Florida, at a bar where strong drinks and shady deals are the norm.
The bar owner, a local operator with a past of his own, gives Dani a job, no questions asked, and soon Dani's ability to “read” the sketchy characters doing business at the bar proves invaluable. The libations flow, and the Key's laid-back vibe and warm waters start doing their therapeutic work. But as the mercury rises, a twisted deal starts to go down—threatening to take Dani with it. Like sharks smelling blood, players on both sides of the law circle for the kill. And when charming apex predator Booker joins the frenzy, he may turn out to be the only one on Dani's side.
That alluring sunset over the calm, warm waters just pulled me in on the cover and had me eager from page one to see what data analyst Dani Britton was up to after the events of the first book, The Widow File. After her coworkers at a high end security company were brutally gunned down by highly skilled military team, a brutal assassin is sent to take out of Dani. His attempts nearly killed them both, and they wound up in government custody. In the latest book, Redemption Key, we pick right up with Dani’s point of view in a book that can be read as a stand alone and be enjoyed thoroughly. While this one was more of a straight up mystery/thriller and less of a cat and mouse chase than the first book, I definitely enjoyed the ride throughout this book.
Dani’s wounds were roughly patched up in the government facility that she was held in for months as she was debriefed, but when they could get no more information out of her, they dumped her back into society with $5000 and the order to never speak about her former occupation, employer, or what happened to her. After moving around a bit, she finally settles in Redemption Key in the Florida Keys, finding a job in a fishing camp and working wherever she’s needed. But she’s unwittingly walking into danger since the owner Oren Randalph provides a meeting room to some unscrupulous criminal folks, and soon she’s firmly in the middle of a brewing turf war between two sweaty drug smuggling thugs and a brutish pretty boy Canadian War Lord looking to break into the Miami market. And the items that they are pushing are so fragile and heat-intolerant that the entire deal can go rotten at any time in the 100 degree heat of the Keys in summer while tempers flare as everyone double crosses and suspects each other of subterfuge.
Dani is still hurting from her experiences in book one, but she’s trying to overcome her weaknesses. She’s working out to become stronger, she’s well-prepared to run if needed, and she just might find an unlikely ally in the person that she least expected: Tom Booker–the assassin with the striking blue eyes that still haunts her dreams. He’s still infatuated with Dani, and now that he’s working as an assassin for the government, he can’t get much downtime between jobs. But he sneaks away when he gets the chance, and his unexpected presence at the fishing camp makes both Dani and the criminal element downright nervous.
I give Redemption Key a 4.5 out of 5. With an interesting cast of well-drawn characters, including a not-so-undercover FBI agent that is friends with the fishing camp owner, Dani’s coworker Choo-Choo (who the author thankfully has everyone call by his real name Sinclair), the various bar workers and patrons, as well as the drug smugglers, this book is tightly plotted and fast paced. I couldn’t tell who the bad guys were until the bigger reveals came towards the end, and like Dani, you never knew who to trust when no one trusts anyone. Tom Booker has some point of view chapters that give a chilling look into his motivations and outlook on life, and I really can’t wait to see what S. G. Redling has in store for Dani and Tom in book three.