Let me begin with a warning that should really come with all Dee Henderson books – don’t even consider opening one if you have anything important to get done. This lady’s writing can seriously affect your to do list. I have lost half days and sometimes half the night quite easily.
The Negotiator begins a magnificent series about the O’Malley brothers and sisters. None of them are related by blood, which is a great twist allowing Henderson to infuse each novel with a different back-story. Each of the siblings works on the front lines in some capacity. In this first novel we meet the seven of them but the focus falls on Kate, the eldest of four sisters. Kate is a Chicago PD negotiator (the clue was in the title). She is ferociously tough, tenaciously protective of her family and one of those rare characters that shines through every page with just a few magical words of description or dialogue.
Through a criminal fluke, she meets Dave Richman, a character we first see in the prequel to the O’Malley books, Danger in the Shadows. He’s an FBI agent with a big heart and as he begins to work a case he and Kate are embroiled in, he falls hard.
Then there’s a massive explosion at O’Hare and Kate becomes a target. As Dave and Kate try to unravel what happened, her other siblings descend and the dynamics start to get very interesting. As if that weren’t enough to make you dizzy, Dave introduces the idea of faith to Kate and during the toughest few days of her life, we get to see her considering how life would look with Jesus at the helm.
If you like romantic suspense, make no mistake – Henderson is virtually unparalleled in this genre and manages to combine exhilarating storylines with characters who burst from the pages and thought provoking spiritual content, even for the longtime Christian.
I’m sat eying up one of her latest offerings, Traces of Guilt. There’s a little frisson of nerves in my stomach. I want to read the book but I know what’s going to happen. My afternoon will disappear in a cloud of Illinois State police, a snarl of a mystery, lots of ‘will they won’t they’ and of course, conversations that point me to consider my own faith journey. Yes. Chores can wait, I’m going in…