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Friday, August 18, 2006:
"Into the Storm" by Suzanne Brockmann - review
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (August 15, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN: 0345480147
Suzanne Brockmann once again takes us into the mysterious and dangerous world of Navy SEALs, specifically Team 16, with her latest suspense novel, "Into the Storm". This time around it's Mark "Jenk" Jenkins who is dealing with issues of the heart. After a near-death experience, Jenk decides it's time to think about settling down, and he's found the perfect woman: gorgeous Tracy Shapiro. Jenk has had a huge crush on Tracy since junior high school, and now that she's in his life, he's determined to win the flirtatous beauty as his bride, no matter how long it takes. He just needs to make her see that. Thanks to his convincing ways, he gets a job for her, working with his former Commanding Officer, Tom Paoletti, which places them in fairly close contact. Determined to win her heart, Mark sets his fool-proof plan in motion.

But like most best-laid plans, life has a tendency to work against you. During the course of a new training mission, Jenk meets Lindsey Fontaine, former LAPD cop and recently turned Troubleshooter. Lindsey is smart, fearless, and not afraid to take on a challenge. And Mark, apparently in love with another woman, is certainly a challenge. However she's determined not to lose her heart to the SEAL, and decides they work better as friends, even if he does make her pulse race. As they get to know each other, it's clear there is an attraction, and they genuinely enjoy being in each other's company. And with each day that passes, Mark's admiration for Lindsey grows, until he realizes that she's actually the woman he wants to share his life wife. However Lindsey is not looking for anything permanent, and the two must deal with their differences and their feelings when Tracy ends up missing and falls into the hands of a dangerous and unstable man.

Readers, PLEASE be aware that this one of Suz's darkest and harshest books to date, delving into the actions of a serial killer and his sick games. Some of the episodes are rather graphic, and may leave you feeling very uncomfortable and, if nothing else, will definitely creep you out . Brockmann doesn't shy away from the ugliness that exists in the world, and sometimes there's not always a "happily ever after" where all the bad stuff goes away by the end of the book.

Like with some other readers, Jenk never particularly struck a chord with me in the previous stories, however he certainly redeems himself in this one. We get to see a softer side to the SEAL, the one who dreams of a family and a place to call home. Lindsey complements Jenk perfectly with her assertive attitude, intelligence, and dry sense of humor. Never once does Jenk express doubts about Lindsey's abilities to do her job, and in fact has much respect and admiration for what she is capable of. I love that a man can accept the fact a woman can kick ass and take names, even better than a man could. Lindsey turned out to be one of my favorite Brockmann heroines ever and I wish we had met her sooner.

And OMG! Suz completely slays me with her writing. I absolutely love everything about the characters she's created and the scenarios she puts them into. Suz is a master at creating realistic worlds filled with characters from all walks of life. She deals with discrimination in many forms as well: age, race, orientation, yet never once do I feel she is on her soapbox preaching to her readers. I love how she uses colorful language when having her characters dealing with a situation, much like people talk to each other in real life, which will strike a cord with readers, as does her nonchalant and extremely positive attitude towards interracial relationships, which are explored but never dissected to death. Suz skillfully deals with the many prejudices that most people have about each other and assume to be true; she doesn't shy away from sensitive topics, and her stories are stronger because of it. Her characters are flawed and complex, and will manage to find their way into your heart while you're not looking.

If there's one thing I don't like about Suz's more recent books, it's that she has too many storylines going on at one time, so somewhere along the line the characters are not as fleshed out as they have been in previous books. However each storyline is intriguing in its own way, and left me wanting to know even more. As always, it's a pleasure to re-visit old friends: Sam & Alyssa, Tom Paoletti, Izzy, Sophia, even a brief appearance by FBI agent Jules Cassidy, a fan favorite. I am so impatient for the next exciting episode!
***Oh, and I immediately started re-reading it to experience it all over again :) ***


  1. Stacy sounds like Suz has done it again......thanks for a great review.

  2. Great review, Stacy. Makes me want to start reading "Into the Storm" right now! (BTW, I give your review five stars, *and* a thumbs up. LOL.)

  3. I finished it this morning and loved it as well. Thanks for the review.

  4. Sounds like a good book :)

  5. I re-read it cuz I enjoyed it so much. It was sad to see it end, especially since it's ages before the next one...

  6. Hey Stacy!

    I saw your review of Into The Storm and deliberately didn't read it, because I wanted to hit the book fresh and blank-slate -- I didn't read the book jacket, I didn't follow her countdown, nothin'.

    But now I've finished the book and can read your review, and I have to say, you're totally right! I LOVED this book. When I heard that Jenk was going to be the hero of this one, my immediate reaction was, "Oh. Huh." I didn't dislike him, I just didn't have an opinion one way or another.

    But he totally rocks, and so does Lindsey, and the book was fabulous, although I wish I hadn't read parts of it while eating. :)

    And can I say that the scene where Izzy makes up his own dialogue for Mark and Tracy just about had me on the floor, crying from laughter?

    Suz rocks!

    Kate, off to read it again...

  7. I have this in the pile to read. can't wait to start it.

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