Friday, February 18, 2011
Irene Hannon's Fatal Judgment ~ Reviewed
By Irene Hannon
Published by Revell
U.S. Marshal Jake Taylor has seen plenty of action during his years in law enforcement. But he'd rather go back to Iraq than face his next assignment: protection detail for federal judge Liz Michaels. His feelings toward the coldhearted workaholic haven't warmed in the five years since she drove her husband--and Jake's best friend--to despair . . . and possible suicide.
As the danger mounts and Jake gets to know Liz better, he's forced to revise his opinion of her. And when it becomes clear that an unknown enemy may want her dead, the stakes are raised. Because now both her life--and his heart--are in danger.
Fatal Judgment is a chilling story that can be taken from today’s headlines. Irene Hannon pens a realistic, intriguing, gripping story I couldn’t put down. In light of a recent shooting that took place in Tucson, Arizona a month ago, of a female politician and a man in Florida who held a school board at gun point earlier this year, the situation in this book is very real. I was thankful to receive a review copy of a book where a federal judge’s life is in danger. The FBI procedures Irene Hannon describes, add to the drama and realism of the story.
This book felt like a combination of the television shows CSI and Law and Order, without all the graphic photos, explicit violence and foul language. This author did extensive research on how U.S. Marshall’s operate and the FBI agencies work together to protect the innocent. It was fascinating to see things from their point of view.
There was a believable spiritual thread throughout the book that I enjoyed. I also liked the authors’ balance of violence and faith, too. The judge says, “Faith is a funny thing. It’s easy to believe while life is rolling merrily along. But in times of trial, it’s tempting to turn away from God. Yet, that’s when we need him the most.”
Judge Michaels had to think about her situation-there was no time to freak out.
“She had to keep her wits about her. Think clear. Her life depended on it. Who would try to kill her? She forced herself to examine the facts, just as she did in the courtroom, doing her best to take emotion out of the equation. The facts were straight forward…her stalker was committed in finishing the job he set out to do three weeks before.” She realized she needed supernatural help.
The judge's life is turned upside-down and not in a good way-she craved her routine. Anything normal-she liked her organized, predictable life. She prays as she looks through case after case to see who could possibly want to kill her.
U. S. Marshal, Jake, had met Liz Michael’s five years ago at her husband’s funeral. Liz’s husband was his close friend. Funny his friend didn’t have nice things to say about his wife over the years. He had a good idea what this Liz was like and wanted nothing to do with a woman like her.. He’d do his job and be civil. The more interactions Jake with Liz the more he was surprised at what he discovered. He found a sensitive, broken woman in the middle of a crime scene, worried more about others than herself. She wasn’t anything like his friend described. How could that be? Jake was uncomfortable with the feelings he felt in her presence and when he smelled her perfume, oh my—he had to stop this line of thinking? He was a professional and would separate his emotions from his work. He couldn’t get distracted...the Judge’s life depended him being focused on finding the killer.
I liked how this author took her time in having the reader get to know Federal Judge Liz and the U.S. Marshall Jake. Both parties had their own personal baggage to deal with, which affected how they operated in current time. Fatal Judgment is a captivating, romantic, suspense story that I was drawn into quickly and stayed up late reading. This is the first book in the Guardian of Justice series. I highly recommend this book. I can’t wait to read the next installment.
Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network
Finding Hope Through Fiction
Irene Hannon's decision to write romantic suspense has paid off in spades. Having penned numerous contemporary romances for Steeple Hill's Love Inspired line, Irene turned her hand to romantic suspense to great acclaim with her Heroes of Quantico trilogy. The same excellent character development and intriguing suspense marks the first book in her Guardians of Justice series, Fatal Judgment, as Jake Taylor reluctantly takes on the protection of a women he dislikes, Liz Michaels. The animosity between Jake and Liz is realistic and the tentative transformation of their feelings for one another is refreshingly genuine. The suspense kicks along nicely and Irene will garner new fans with this series. For me, the epilogue was overly sentimental but will have many readers sighing with happiness! I'm looking forward to Jake's sister Alison's story, Deadly Pursuit, releasing this September.
Reviewed by Rel Mollet