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Paid in Blood
by Mel Odom

Reviewed by Rel Mollet

"...a thrill to read. The plot is tight with unseen twists, and the characters are fascinating ..."

Will Coburn stopped in front of the dead woman lying crumpled on the threadbare carpet. He stared down at her. Violent death still gave him pause even after years of seeing it.

So begins chapter one of Mel Odom's foray into military suspense evolving quickly into a riveting novel which will appeal to both men and women. Paid in Blood, the first book in his NCIS series, contains non-stop action, intriguing characters and great locales.

Commander Will Coburn heads a specialist NCIS team undertaking covert investigations in potentially lethal situations. Each member of his team brings with him or her specialist skills which uncover the evidence necessary to put terrorists and criminals behind bars. Dr Nita Tomlinson completes autopsies with fastidious precision, but her personal life is secretly out of control. Gunnery Sergeant Shelton McHenry can intimidate most men by sheer physical presence, but he is a pushover when it comes to his black Labrador, Max. Chief Warrants Officer Frank Billings, a Navy man of over thirty-five years experience relies on his faith in God and the devotion of his wife, Mildred, to pull him through the tough times. Special Agent Estrella Montoya is a communications specialist struggling with single parenthood and a load of guilt. The only civilian in their unit, Maggie Foley, is a martial arts expert trying to escape the constraints of inherited wealth and parental disappointment. Whatever their private lives entail, when terror strikes this is the only team the Navy calls.

The murder of NCIS agent, Chief Petty Officer Helen Swafford plunges Will's team into a global terrorist plot which could jeopardize the security of the United States and its allies. As evidence in the North Carolina crime scene is gathered the team is led to South Korea and confrontations with Colombian drug lords and Russian mobsters.

Mel Odom's attention to detail makes this book a thrill to read. The plot is tight with unseen twists, and the characters are fascinating not only for their occupational skills, but for their complicated personal lives that have shaped the way they view the world. The action is relentless particularly in the later half of the book, but the author continues to flesh out his characters personalities through tragedy and their response to the crushing tension inherent to their mission. There is scope for plenty more action and character growth from this NCIS team. Look for Book #2, Blood Evidence, coming in April. And the addition of a third book in the series has recently been confirmed!

Rel MolletRel Mollet is a lawyer, wife and mother of three young daughters and lives in Melbourne, Australia. Reading has been her passion since childhood. She is a Book Club Co-ordinator and has her own website ~ relzreviewz ~ dedicated to reviews and author interviews with the sole aim to support authors writing from a Christian worldview. She believes Sir Francis Bacon's (1561 - 1626) creed, "Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body".