A kidnapped Russian sex slave is brutally beaten, shot and left for dead in a Hollywood alley. An escort service controlled by the Russian mafia is responsible. Homeland Security Special Field Agent, Jack Oatmon, is on assignment with the LAPD, where his investigation tracks the suspects to Europe. Sent to Paris as part of an elite Interpol task force, he confronts a shockingly corrupt bureaucracy, and cold blooded killers. Innocent Americans Nikki (spelled the same as our own RBC long-time member) Dunn and Rick Asher get caught in the crossfire, and Jack is forced to send them on the run to stay one step ahead of a ruthless assassin. Convinced the task force has been compromised, Jack Doesn't know who to trust. Can he figure it out in time?
Sounds pretty good, doesn't it? I actually enjoyed it a lot. What did I like about Ladies Invited?
1. It grabbed me right away. I had emotional reactions as early as pages 16 and 21. And a combo of smiles, chills, and tears on both 28 and 30.
2. I liked the description of Jack's background. It reminded me of Jack Reacher, from the standpoint that it strongly appears that every episode will take place in a different locale. Even this one has scenes in LA, Paris, and Florence.
3. I got to reminisce about being at the Eiffel Tower (only half-way up - that was high enough!), the Musee Rodin, and the Louvre, all in Paris. And the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. Our trip was 5 years ago this coming September. But when I read about the same sites we visited, it feels like yesterday.
4. The whole sex slave thing continues to make the news. It felt to me like TJ had researched it so that he could make his story realistic.
5. There are chapters where a bad guy gets to speak in the 1st person. I like when that happens.
6. I liked how TJ drops hints as to a future problem. It's fun to be on the alert for the consequences of an action taken earlier in the book.
You can never be sure that you're going to like a book enough to continue with a series. I would say that Ladies Invited is worth testing. Then you can make up your own minds. Mine is already made up. I'm coming back for #2.
TV MOVIE ANNOUNCEMENT: You've all heard, by now, of Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. In fact, I posted a review of it on January 19 of this year. Well, last week Oprah announced that she is going to produce a feature-length movie for HBO AND will star in it as Henrietta Lacks' daughter, Deborah. Shooting begins this summer. I will keep you updated.