Lieutenant Abby Mullen is no stranger to crisis. As the hostage negotiation instructor for the NYPD, she deals with worst-case scenarios every day. Nothing fazes her anymore.
That all changes when she gets a call from Eden Fletcher, a fellow survivor of the infamous Wilcox cult. The two haven’t spoken since the night of a tragic, fiery massacre, when their paths diverged. But now Eden needs Abby’s help: someone has kidnapped her son and is demanding a $5 million ransom. As Abby throws herself into the case, she can’t help but wonder why the kidnapper has targeted Eden. But Eden refuses to talk. She’s silent about the relics of their shared past hanging on her walls. About the kidnapper’s possible motives. About what’s happened in the years since she and Abby parted ways.
As the truth closes in, Abby realizes that her past may not be as far behind as she thought…and it’s come home to collect.
My Thoughts on A Deadly Influence…
A Deadly Influence is one of those books where – for a long time – nothing seems to happen before everything comes to a head. This isn’t always a bad thing. It definitely wasn’t a bad thing here. After an intense opening as Abby talks a young man down from the ledge (literally), the story pivots to the family of an influencer and her stalker, a man who thinks the young woman (Gabrielle) is talking to him – and only him – through her posts.
It’s all a bit creepy but also not surprising in this day of seemingly constant social media. You can imagine it happening (and I’m sure it has more than once), though perhaps not in as outlandish a way as in A Deadly Influence – or with as many twists in the tale. I loved the twists, and the fact that – for the first time in a while – I really didn’t work out just who the bad guy was (yet, when it was revealed, it made perfect sense).
I could have done with a little less of the cult sub-plot but as that was vital to explain who Abby was – and laying the groundwork for book 2 – I know it was probably needed. Other than that, I have no complaints. I really liked Abby and look forward to getting to know her more. I liked Mike Omer’s writing style, which made for an easy but enjoyable read. And I liked the story itself.
Which means – if you haven’t already guessed – I would definitely recommend this book. Enjoy it if you do read it (or let me know what you think if you have).
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