In Hot Water (Triple-D Ranch, Vol. 1)
by Terry Odell
Review by Mel Jacob
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781523482009
Date: 26 January 2016 List Price $10.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /
Sabrina Barton attends her estranged brother's funeral in San Francisco and regrets they had had so little contact. Later, she discovers a note in her coat pocket written by her brother years ago and expressing his love for her. He also tells her in case of trouble to contact Derek Cooper. Her brother's apartment is ransacked, but luckily she had already removed the family photo album and her brother's journals.
After returning home to Albuquerque, she receives threatening emails, her apartment is vandalized, and the tires on her car are slashed. She learns Derek Cooper lives in Colorado, and she heads there seeking answers.
Cooper is an ex-Army Ranger/Blackthorne operative now a rancher in Colorado. He didn't know John had died. His first encounter with Sabrina is a late night highway rescue after her car is forced off the road. He is shocked when she arrives on his doorstep the next morning to thank him after she mired her car in the muddy track leading to his home. He remembers John and offers his sympathy. Then she tells him about recent events.
They are interrupted by Derek's crew arriving for breakfast. Sabrina pitches in and serves the crew the best eggs they've ever had. Then a muffled explosion draws everyone's attention. Derek discovers someone had tried to blow up Sabrina's car. Her papers and suitcase are missing and clothing is spread over the landscape.
When a Blackthorne operative arrives unexpectedly, clues begin to emerge as to why Sabrina is targeted. John was working on a hush-hush case that might involve biological terrorism, but he left little information. Apparently, whoever they are thinks Sabrina may have information. So, a cat and mouse game begins. Luckily, Derek's crew is comprised of ex-Army Rangers with a lot of experience in working crime scenes.
Soon, Derek and Blackthorne close in on the culprits of the attempted car bombing. Eventually, all comes to rest on keeping Sabrina safe and whether she can find any clue in brother's old journals or in his life to stop a life-threatening virus from spreading.
O'Dell is a prolific writer with seventeen novels and a variety of short stories to her credit. The novel unfolds in true thriller fashion occasionally sidetracked by the passion between the leading characters. The skills of Blackthorne, Inc. operatives has been explored in six earlier novels and put to good use in this one. As always, an exciting climax awaits the reader.