DiAnn Mills‘s latest suspense, Deadlock, is the story of Bethany and Thatcher, two FBI agents just thrown together as partners and facing a complex multi-victim murder investigation in Houston. And as if that’s not complicated enough, let’s throw in that Thatcher once arrested Bethany’s brother, that Bethany is estranged from her family for also arresting her brother, and that Thatcher and Bethany have very different investigative styles. Oh, and the first inklings of a romantic attraction between these two agents!
No, this shouldn’t be stressful at alllll.
And pumpkins can fly and eat cupcakes.
I’ve read novels by DiAnn Mills before, but this was my first in several years. It’s #3 in her FBI: Houston series, but I didn’t feel like I was missing two-thirds of the story. So I’m comfortable in calling it a standalone novel, as well.
I felt for Thatcher and Bethany as I read this book. They were trying so hard to meld their very different professional approaches and move past the history between them throughout the story. They also had to maintain their professionalism and do their jobs, despite the increasing attraction between Thatcher and Bethany, trouble from Bethany’s brother and no little interference and danger from mentally unstable villains. Quite a lot to keep straight for several hundred pages, but altogether Mills did wrap up all the plot trails by story’s end.
Deadlock is a well-written story with interesting characters. At times, it almost seemed like a Criminal Minds episode with Thatcher’s tendency to profile the criminals he was hunting for. I did struggle to invest myself in the characters, though, and felt a bit disconnected from the story. The plot just felt ‘busy,’ maybe too busy in places.
However, this could just be because Deadlock wasn’t quite to my taste as a reader. Others may enjoy this novel more than I did. DiAnn Mills’s books are good reads; for example, I would happily recommend her Breach of Trust.
My rating: 3.5/5 stars
Recommended for: mature readers who can handle plot elements like serial killers, murder, violence and crime in general, and mental instability. This is not a story for younger readers, though there isn’t any graphic or gratuitous violence/language, etc.
Note: I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley.