Sunday, August 7, 2011

Guest Review - Fatal Consequences

Fatal Consequences
By Marie Force
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: July 18, 2011

Romantic Suspense is not a subgenre in which I read widely, but there’s a handful of RS writers whose characters are so beautifully crafted that I overcome my tendency toward wimpiness and read their books. Marie Force is one of that handful. I first read her because I was intrigued by the Washington setting, but I have continued because I was captivated by the relationship between Lieutenant Sam Holland, a homicide detective, and Senator Nick Cappuano.

Fatal Justice (Book 2), ended with Sam accepting Nick’s marriage proposal in the White House Rose Garden. Fatal Consequences opens at the wedding reception of Sam’s father. Faced with an obligatory dance that will make Sam and Nick and Sam’s sisters and their husbands the center of attention, Sam mutters, “I’ve never wanted to be called to a murder scene more than I do right now.” Minutes later a phone call from Henry Lightfeather, senior senator from Arizona and one of many Friends of Nick, sends her to a murder scene.

Senator Lightfeather has found an employee of Capitol Cleaning Services, an immigrant from Guatemala, dead in her apartment. Why was the much married senator in the apartment of the woman who cleans his office? At the least the senator is a material witness, perhaps more. Soon the body of another beautiful immigrant, also an employee of the Capitol Cleaning service is discovered. As Sam and her team continue their investigation, one of their own is attacked. All the resources of the D. C. police department are directed at finding the guilty party, undeterred by evidence leading them to the nation’s seats of power.

Meantime Sam and Nick are planning a wedding, dealing with the shocking news that her dangerous ex-husband is being released on a technicality, and learning that love and commitment don’t absolve them from the tensions that develop between two strong-minded people sharing physical and emotional space. Force weaves together threads from Sam’s and Nick’s personal and professional lives to create this story of intelligent, complex characters whose love for one another has become the still point of their complicated world.

One of the problems I have with some romantic suspense is that the story is all edge-of-the-seat, heart-in-the-throat moments with characters in jeopardy having hot sex in moments of crisis. Clearly there’s an audience for these books, and I’m not knocking them. But these are not books I want to read. I am interested in characters and their relationships. What I love about Marie Force’s book is that the excitement and danger seem real, so real they sometimes seem to be the full story of some bit from the news, but her characters are just as real. Sam and Nick are in danger, they do take risks, and they have hot sex. But they also have full lives with families and friends. Part of their relationship with one another involves the integration of their separate lives into their life as a couple. The secondary characters have their own stories that manage to be engaging without overwhelming either the case that controls the plot or the relationship between the protagonists that is the heart of the books.

Force provides enough details to prevent a reader who has not read the first two books from feeling lost in this one, although Fatal Consequences will be a richer read for those who are familiar with the earlier books. I think romantic suspense fans will enjoy this book, but I also recommend it to readers who don’t usually read romantic suspense. I’m betting such readers will be just as fascinated with Sam and Nick and the people who populate their world as I am. As for me, I’m poised on ready to read “Fatal Destiny,” the wedding novella that will be available free on the author’s website on September 5 and for Fatal Flaw, Book 4, which is scheduled for release in February 2012.

Click here to visit Force's Fatal series web page.



  1. I loved Marie Force's Love At First Flight so much that I bought the first 2 books in this series!lol I too don't really do suspense but her other book made me take the chance and pick it up on my kindle app. I stil havent gotten around to reading them yet though since summer is the busiest time at the library so it'll probably October when I do. So glad other people are finding her too! :)

  2. I have read some Romantic Suspense & loved it. On my list.

  3. I love romantic suspense and am loving this series I have this one ready to read on the e reader and can't wait to get to it. I love Marie's stories and have them all

    Have Fun

    Great review Janga

  4. I discovered Marie Force's writing in 2008 when fellow blogger, Kati Dancy kept raving about Line of Scrimmage. Being a dedicated football fan (I hesitate to use the word "fanatic" though it probably fits), I knew I had to give it a try. That book was all it took to hook me on Force's writing and add all her subsequent books to my "must read" list.

    Thanks for another great review, Janga!

  5. I am a fan of romantic suspense. However, like you, I like more than nail biting suspense alternating with wild sex. The authors I prefer spend more time on character development than in the bedroom (or where ever the characters decide to rip their clothes off). Many have continuing series with recurring characters and continuity. Some couples don't even end up having sex. The story, suspense, and relationship are most important.
    I have a couple of Marie's books on my TBR mountain and will have to dig them out. The FATAL series is one I will definitely have to read.

    Thanks for the review.

  6. Terrific review, thank you!
    I think librarypat really articulated my feelings as well as her own in her post. It sounds like we have some similarities in reading taste LP!
    I know that books in a series are written to be stand alone as well, but I prefer reading a series in order, so I'll have to get the previous books before this one.

  7. Thanks so much for the lovely review, Janga. So glad you're enjoying the Fatal Series! Thanks to everyone else who has read or plans to read the series!

  8. Great review, Janga! I'm a fan of Marie's "Fatal" series, along with each and every one of her other books, as well. Like PJ, "Line of Scrimmage" was all it took and I was hooked. And each time I finish one of Marie's books, I just feel happy and satisfied . . . because everything I hope for in a good book is absolutely provided within the covers of her books.