by Lena Diaz – Book 3 in the Deadly Game Series. A pretty good book, plot-wise, but I had difficulty with the main female character, Tessa James. When we meet her, she is presented as an FBI agent with 8 years of experience, a stellar record, and an obsession with a cold case. Presumably, this 30-year-old woman earned her status and promotions by being smart, professional and collected in the face of horrible crimes and confusing evidence. After all, FBI agents are known for their poker-face reactions when dealing with the public and with other law-enforcement agencies and sources. But Tessa’s reactions to personal matters and even to the mere mention of the other main character, a private investigator named Matt Buchanan, reveal her to be emotionally volatile, with a hair trigger and thin skin.
Because of these two wildly different characteristics in the person of one 30-year-old woman, I found it very hard to suspend my disbelief and immerse myself in the story. I kept thinking that Tessa would never have succeeded in the FBI if she couldn’t control herself better. Her thoughts and behavior are those of a teenage girl with both a crush on and a grudge against Matt, whose sole offenses seem to be that he’s only 24 years old, he’s gorgeous, and he helped her solve a case several years before. She’s so afraid of being perceived as a cougar or cradle-robber that she behaves very unprofessionally and even cruelly, many times, toward him. And she can’t hide her thoughts and emotions, as her fair skin flushes quickly and frequently, and her mouth falls open in surprise several times. She also whirls around in anger or surprise, pushes or jerks away from physical contact of a romantic or sensual nature, and vents her spleen at Matt whenever he tries to help her investigate their case without waiting for her explicit instructions.
I quite liked Matt, although I couldn’t understand why he was so attracted to Tessa or why he put up with her verbal abuse and derision. And after finishing the book, I still don’t get it.
That said, the story itself is interesting, with plot twists to keep you guessing, but not so many that the story didn’t make sense once the pieces were in place. (finished 8/2/14)