I discovered Traci Hunter Abramson a year and a half ago when I bought and read her book Royal Target. Tracy has been writing since 2004 and has at least seven thrillers to date, but it wasn’t till I was browsing in an LDS Bookstore and noticed the gold crown on the pink cover of Royal Target that I became aware of her as an author. Turns out she lives in Virginia, down the street from a good friend of mine from college… it’s a small LDS world isn’t it?
Abramson is an ex-CIA employee who uses her years in the agency to give her thrillers a biting edge of realism. Last year I read her novel Lockdown and though I thought it was good, I found the romance seemed to overshadow the plot. Then at the beginning of the year, Crossfire was released and I fell in love with Abramson’s style all over again.
Both Lockdown and Crossfire are Whitney Award Finalist in the Mystery/Suspense catagory and feature a group of LDS Navy SEALs known as the Saint Squad. Lockdown is set at a college campus and featured Tristan Crowther a member of the Squad and Riley Palmetta a woman who lived through a tragic college mass shooting.
Crossfire is set in the Caribbean where a powerful terrorist group is plotting a huge strike on the US. Vanessa Lauton has infiltrated the powerful crime family behind the plot posing as a family member, but when her CIA handler has a sudden heart attack, the Saint Squad is called in to find her and stop the threat.
Seth Johnson has a personal interest in this case. He dated Vanessa when they were younger and would have married her, but he wasn’t a member and she wanted a temple marriage. Six years has past and Seth has since joined the church, but it may not matter. The situation had turned deadly and Vanessa and Seth are balanced in a life and death struggle.
The pacing was perfect. Abramson keeps the suspense high on both the thriller side and the romance side, not allowing either to overrun the other. She has created characters that seem real both as government trained SEALS and as Latter-day Saints. Not an easy thing to do.
I had a hard time putting this book down until I got to the explosive climax. This is a true romantic thriller and a must read for anyone like me who loves a good suspenseful novel.