3 out of 4 stars
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Phrases like “full of intrigue,” “action-packed,” and “edge of your seat” only begin to characterize Belle Ami’s book, Ransom. From the first page of the prologue, Belle Ami sets the stage with Mossad agents discovering a combined Hezbollah and North Korean plot to detonate high-altitude nuclear weapons and create an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) that would destroy all electronics within the blast zone. Since the targets are Israel and the US, this would effectively cause chaos and reduce these two powerful nations to the level of developing countries. Mossad’s leader immediately implements a highly secretive plan using a black-ops team to find and destroy the nuclear weapons before they can cause any damage. Ransom follows both the members of the black-ops team as they race to diffuse these threats and some of the Hezbollah agents as they work to ensure their success.
As the third book in her Tip of the Spear series, some fans may already be familiar with a few of the characters. Still, readers new to the series do not need to feel that it is necessary to read the first two books before starting this one. Belle Ami clearly introduces recurring characters such as Cyrus, Layla, and Aryeh in this book. Even though they have history, Belle Ami presents these character stories with an artistic touch that conveys the back story elegantly and efficiently. Her talent in this area was so effective that it was difficult to identify which characters carried over from previous books and which characters were new to the series.
While Belle Ami tells a thrilling story, her roots in romance also clearly come through. Frequent and explicit sex scenes appeared throughout the novel. Readers fond of the more erotic side of the romance genre may enjoy taking a dip into the thriller arena with the high-stakes action involved in this thriller. Violence and strong language also feature heavily, so readers desiring a “clean” read will want to skip this one.
Belle Ami tells a strong story with plenty of details and consistency throughout the novel. Avoiding unnecessary details and keeping exposition to a minimum also contributed to the great storytelling. Unfortunately, the text contained far too many technical problems with commas, homonyms, apostrophes and other grammar issues. With the quality of her writing in general, though, most readers will not likely suffer a significant impact to their enjoyment of the book.
Because of the strong storytelling and interesting characters, Ransom definitely fits the bill for readers that desire an exciting thriller. Sadly, due to the issues in editing, this book only earns 3 out of 4 stars. With a significant review in the grammar department, this is a book that could quickly earn its fourth star. Fans of Belle Ami’s other works will certainly enjoy this new novel.
Ransom (Tip of the Spear series Book #3)
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