Rooted in Danger (Blackthrone, Inc. Series)
by Terry Odell
Review by Gayle Surrette
Five Star Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781432825850
Date: 11 May 2012 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Kathy Townsend goes hiking in the jungle to check out the flora. Unfortunately she falls, gets injured, and can't make it back to the hotel. Torie Stoker, a friend sharing the vacation, was extremely ill from eating some bad seafood and wasn't aware of the passing time. Eventually, when Kathy didn't report in to her laboratory, her boss hired Blackthorne, Inc. to find her and get her out of the jungle. Kathy is key to a new orphan drug they're developing.
Foster "Fozzie" Mayhew was part of the Blackthorne retrieval mission. They do find Kathy and get her back to a hospital, but she's developed a raging infection and is not reacting well to treatment. Luckily, the hospital has a lot of experience with tropical diseases, making the local hospital the best choice. Torie visits her in the hospital and sits by her side. She meets Kathy's boss who flew in to check on Kathy's status.
Kathy makes Torie promise to not tell anyone about her giving Torie the drug trial reports to read. She also still wants Torie to read them over for her. Torie's not a biologist but she's good at spotting differences and inconsistencies. Torie forgets about the papers in the aftermath of Kathy's sudden death. She helps pack up Kathy's home and moves on to a new location to get over these recent events.
Fozzie has been put on light duty, he's to find a Victoria Stoker Hamilton and let her know her father is sorry and wants to set things right. Not the excitement of the black operations of Blackthorne but they all had to do some public relations type work now and then. It didn't take him long to track her down, but when he gets there he finds someone else beat him to her, only this agent is trying to kidnap her. Was the job double booked? Is something else going on? How can he convince her that he is the good guy? What's he going to do now that he finds he can't not protect her? (Note, by this time the reader hasn't even gotten to page 50.)
Odell's Blackthorne, Inc. novels are a mix of mystery, thriller, and romance. However, the romance never gets in the way the way of the action or indeed the fact that the mysteries are usually layered, twisted, and often unexpectedly complex, but believable. Just when you think you've got everything figured out a new clue gets thrown into the works that changes the reader's understanding of what's happening.
The characters are also very well drawn so that even though their lives may be nothing like the reader's you can relate to the essential fears, hopes, and dreams that motivate them.
If you haven't yet read any of Odell's Blackthorne, Inc. novels don't worry you can jump in with any one of them because they can all stand on their own.