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The Advocate

Trapped by Irene Hannon

Reviewed by Dale Lewis

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"Hannon pens a powerful portrayal of unexpected redemption, compassionate teamwork and painful perseverance."

Laura Griffith's sixteen-year-old half-sister Darcy has come to live with her after the death of Darcy’s father four months earlier. The mother they shared had died three years ago. No matter how hard they tried to make their relationship work, their efforts fell short of expectations.

Leaving only a brief note behind, Darcy takes off in the dead of winter. A distraught Laura resolves to do whatever it takes to track down the runaway teen and repair the relationship. Fortunately that includes recruiting ATF agent turned PI James "Dev" Devlin of Phoenix, Inc. to lead the desperate search.

The deeper Dev digs and discerns, the more he suspects that Darcy’s disappearance is blanketed in a cloak of sinister darkness. Where does Davis Daycare fit into the perplexing puzzle? As he creeps closer to the truth, it becomes clearer that this could end up becoming a deadly situation.

Having each other’s back combined with the methodical approach to investigating (every angle pursued) highlights the mindset of the Phoenix, Inc. crew. They include Dev’s partners Cal and Connor, as well as the unorthodox office manager, Nikki.

Continued glimpses into the lead characters’ pasts--hurtful, tainted, abused--added depth to the storyline. As a reader, you begin to identify, empathize and hope for resolution.

Having enjoyed several of Hannon’s titles, it appears a Hannon novel has these non-negotiable elements: a damsel in distress, instant attraction between rescuing knight and said damsel, tainted childhood or hurtful adult experiences and a non-descript, organized antagonist.

There was a wave of disbelief for me with 1) the delayed action on the part of Dev and associates toward the conclusion, and 2) the easy out when push came to shove for the antagonist. I also felt that not following up on the perpetrator at the end left the story “incomplete.”

Be assured it didn’t even cross my mind to stop reading Trapped due to the wave of disbelief or the non-negotiable, predictable elements. Hannon pens a powerful portrayal of unexpected redemption, compassionate teamwork and painful perseverance. Trapped is an engaging psychological suspense overflowing with fear and deception.

As a prolific author of romantic suspense novels, Hannon has found her “forte.” Number 3 in the Private Justice series, Deceived, will appear in the summer of 2014.

Dale Lewis now mans the front desk at the EFCA (The Evangelical Free Church of America) National Office in Minneapolis, MN. He was the graphic designer/pre-press production artist for over twelve years before being asked to step into this new role. Prior to that, he was the publications manager at his alma mater, Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN in the public relations office as well as the adviser to the college’s yearbook. He's a director/actor/writer for the Hope Church (Oakdale, MN) adult drama worship team and was the senior editor of the church newsletter. He's also written two collections of poetry, “Whispers of Assurance” and “On Life: Constant Communion Without Ceasing” as well as a devotional entitled “Eternal Education.” He and his family live in Oakdale, Minnesota.