Erin Hodgson, my fellow reviewer, describes the first book in the series as being ‘not unlike those popular TV shows like 24’ and I would describe this book, in a similar vein, as being the Season Finale. I think it’s possible to read this as stand-alone because there are a number of short summaries to help you along. But please don’t! You will miss so much of the depth of the characters, their interplay and the full involved backstory.
This is also the best of the series as far as the storyline and the writing go. Please be sure to read the Note from the Author at the start and see if you can answer her question as to what makes a hero or a villain. Which characters are heroes? Which characters are villains? Can you explain why?
Fasten your seat belts and let the story pull you along!
Alexis Toles has taken her father’s place as the head of Carecom, a business which distributes medical supplies around the world and was adapted some years ago by the CIA to use the business as a front to distribute money and weapons. However, Alexis finds that the business has been conducting illegal activities such as gun running to terrorist groups and these activities have all been organized by her father. Alexis has been trying to unravel more about the Collaborative, the shady group that her father belonged to, and to starve them of resources. To do this she has been slowly shutting down their illegal activities, completing a number of acquisitions to ensure this. Trying to force a merger with a genetic and bio-engineering company, MyoGen, sets things in motion for the rest of the book.
The characters are mostly those from previous books, but some need further discussion here.
The main motivation for Alexis throughout the series has been protecting her family. This continues as the story unfolds. However, she finds that (like many of us) she has to balance her working life and her home life and she sometimes fails. She knows, however, that having Cassidy to come home to keeps her emotionally balanced.
Cassidy remains the counterpoint to Alexis, as she is the warm and nurturing home builder. She must deal with numerous issues throughout the story and they make you realize just how emotionally strong and caring she is.
Whilst Alex and Cassidy continue their deep and layered relationship, the romantic element for this book falls to Claire Bracket, who has appeared previously in the series and who has been both unmanageable and undisciplined. She has a much more central role in this volume but I’m not saying more about this element because of spoilery.
The Writing Style
Nancy Ann Healy is the master of this style of writing, with the story written in the third person and with the different storylines spread across sections of the narrative as in previous books in the series. Her weaving of the storyline with the different characters and her ability to leave the reader guessing right until the end is without doubt brilliantly done.
When I first read this book, I was binge reading the entire series. I needed closure but I really didn’t want it to end, and once it had, I had a few days of reading hiatus, where I could not face another book. The book had me so involved, the layers of the story, the family element and the way the ending was so unexpected. This time around though, there is a Volume 5 to look forward to, although I have no idea where it will take us.
The thriller aspects of the series, the international politics and the intertwined family element, and exploring the role of family in this environment make this so interesting on every level. You should invest in this series, it is very reasonably priced (and on Kindle Unlimited) and once you have it, it is certainly one of those books you will want to re-read.
Excerpt from Conspiracy by Nancy Ann Healy
Alex groaned dramatically. “What’s going on with Claire?” she asked. Claire Brackett continued to be a thorn in Alex’s side. The DCIS agent’s loyalty was constantly wavering. Claire had lost the woman she loved to her arrogance. She had lost her lover to the game they were all immersed in. That made her even more unpredictable. She had no anchor. Claire Brackett’s allegiance blew with the wind, and Alex wasn’t sure which way the wind was blowing now.
“This ghost she’s been chasing,” Krause said.
“Yeah? I thought that was just some folklore the locals had?”
“Maybe,” he said.
“Or, maybe not,” he offered.
Alex sighed. “So what?” Alex watched as Krause’s eyes narrowed and his brow furrowed. “Okay. You think this person exists?” she asked. He just tipped his head to signify the possibility. “Well, okay. So what if he does? Pip, let her chase this ghost. If that keeps her out of our hair….”
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9780692608906
- Publisher: Bumbling Bard Creations
Nancy Ann Healy Online