As an impressionable, young teenager, Heather Graham was one of the first romance writers I ever discovered. I remember loving her books, but I imagine I would have some major problems with those 80’s romances nowadays. Anyway, I saw that Danger in Numbers (2021) was newly available at my library and I decided to give Graham a nostalgic try. I like suspenseful thrillers, and this one seemed like something I might enjoy. I was also curious how I would feel about Graham’s writing now, more than twenty years later.
The book begins with the grim discovery of a grisly, ritualistic murder on the edge of the Everglades in southern Florida. Special Agent Amy Larson of the Florida State Police and her partner are assigned to the case. Because of the nature of the case, Special Agent Hunter Forrest of the FBI is assigned to work with them. At first Amy is offended that the FBI is butting in on her case, but Hunter is smart, respectful, and easy to work with. When Amy’s partner is sidelined with health problems, she and Hunter work together instead.
The mystery intensifies with the likelihood of the involvement of a cult, the possible involvement of townspeople, and a missing woman. Hunter and Amy have to work fast before they discover another body. Graham does a good job setting a creepy scene. The rural area with mistrusting townsfolk, quirky religions, violent deaths, and the dark woods was definitely disturbing.
I generally liked this book, but I wasn’t wowed. The story kept my interest, and I liked the characters, but it wasn’t one that I particularly remember or would want to reread. I liked that Amy was good at her job and held her own when she needed to. She was smart and resourceful. There was obviously some romance between Hunter and Amy, but it wasn’t the primary purpose of the book and I honestly don’t remember much about it. I appreciated that Hunter was sufficiently concerned for Amy’s welfare without being patronizing. I also appreciated that they were professionals first. I find it so distracting when characters in romance novels have sex in ridiculous situations.
This book worked perfectly well as a stand-alone novel, but it seems that it may be the beginning of a series. It was nice for me to see that Heather Graham’s writing has evolved with the times, but I’m not sure if I’ll be reading any more of these.
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