Series: Defend and Protect, #1
Published by Revell
Publication Date March 2, 2021
Genres: Christian Fiction, Action/Adventure, Suspense, Clean Romance
Setting: North Carolina Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults
US Secret Service Special Agent Luke Powell is lucky to be alive. Three of his fellow agents have died in unusual circumstances in the past ten weeks. Luke is devastated by the loss of his friends and colleagues, and his inability to locate the killer feels like a personal failure. He and his team are experts at shielding others, but now the protectors are in need of protection.
FBI Special Agent Faith Malone is driven to succeed and confident in her ability to solve every case she's assigned. She's been put in charge of the investigation into the unprecedented attacks, and with Luke's life in danger, the stakes have never been higher. But it's hard to know how to fight back when you don't know who the enemy is.
Luke has teamed up with Faith before, but he's not convinced she's up for the job and she's not convinced he's telling her everything he knows. As more agents are targeted, Luke and Faith will have to learn to trust each other and work together to bring a killer to justice and prevent any more names from joining their fallen brothers and sisters on the Secret Service Wall of Honor.
I would like to thank Netgalley, Revell for giving me a copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
The Defend and Protect series started with a bang! Literally.
When a peaceful jog ends in bullet wounds and explosions, Luke and his friend, Zane wind up in the hospital and Faith winds up heading an investigation that has confounded the FBI and the Secret Service. No one knows who would have a vendetta against so many of the Secret Service agents so the protectors find themselves under protection.
Having read other books by this author, it was no surprise that I loved the characters.
Luke, the handsome, headstrong, and slightly (maybe more) cocky agent had me smiling. The bond he had with his fellow agents was more than that of brothers. And he had a strong faith that he had built his life around. Yet he had deep-seated issues with the FBI and was determined to keep Faith at arm’s length.
Faith was very strong and had no problem taking charge. She was still gentle and sensitive when dealing with victims and quite blew Luke’s preconceived ideas away as she handled the investigation with such skill. I loved her strong relationship with her sister, Hope, and ached because of her poor relationship with her mother – though, with the things her mom did, I didn’t blame Faith for that!
I cracked up at the tough-guy attitudes from Luke and his friends. When they were using the number of bullet holes they had acquired as a way of one-upmanship… What can I say about that? But it wasn’t in an inappropriate manner, it was largely to break the tension of being targets of an unknown enemy.
There was a strong faith message throughout the story. Luke, as a believer, had to learn to let go of his bitterness. And Faith had lost hers – faith, that is. When her dad abandoned their family, she decided that God didn’t really care. Unknown Threat tells the story of her turning her heart back to God.
Despite the number of bombs and bullets, this is not a gory or overly violent story. It is more action and suspense. While I had some idea who was after them, the full details surprised me and the motive had been beyond my grasp.
I enjoyed seeing some of the characters from the Dive Team Investigations series appear. And appreciated how their parts were such that it wasn’t necessary to know their backstories, though readers, like me, who had gotten to know them will have the privilege of catching up on their lives.
I really appreciate the way Lynn Blackburn can take such a full cast of characters and not lose me in keeping track of who’s who. I can’t think of a single place in the story where I felt lost or frustrated at not recognizing a name. I did, however, find myself constantly looking up the alphabet soup of acronyms that were used because I couldn’t seem to remember what the letters stood for. ATF, RICD, FBI… Ok, just kidding about that last one! This isn’t the author’s fault – just my ignorance.
The details about the investigation and the various situations encountered, how processes work, were all presented in a pleasant story-telling manner. I learned quite a bit about them and was amazed at the incredible amount of research that must have gone into this story.
My one, minor complaint was that things were wrapped up in the epilogue in a way that was more laundry list-ish than story. Though after the details of how the case was resolved, the finale was quite satisfactory and sweet!
Readers of romantic suspense will want to be sure to read Unknown Threat and are bound to be waiting with bated breath, as I am, for the next one!