Man of Action
Omega Sector: Critical Response #4
By: Janie Crouch
June 21, 2016 Print
July 1, 2016 Ebook
He was a man of action—especially when it came to protecting his new undercover partner…
At nineteen, Andrea Gordon's life was forever changed. After proving herself instrumental in a bank hostage crisis, she became one of Omega Sector's top agents. Four years later, her skill at reading people is unrivaled—until she meets fellow profiler Brandon Han.
Paired together to track a serial killer who has been targeting at-risk women, the two become entangled beyond the case. Their mutual attraction deepens as they get closer to the truth.
But when Andrea's own sordid past surfaces, they will both be forced to question everything about the assignment…and each other.
Amazing, psychological thriller, that not only shows the darker side of human beings, but what light and joy, balance, can be found in a loving, accepting relationship.
With this story, Janie Crouch shows again her diversity as an author. The suspense is as intense as always, but the source of the tension comes from the psychological aspects, the fear and threat of the serial killer, the escaped, dangerous prisoner, the burden of old memories, past that keeps showing up, the fear of acceptance when secrets are revealed, the strain is palpable, the pressure is constant. The images painted by the author are sharp and telling, memorable, and alerting. The attitude of the community towards the killings, so saddening, brutal, but lifelike, that the girls didn't matter, because who they were, gave me one of the most somber moments in the tale.
I love the characters in the story, all of them, even the secondary cast, are complex, deep, and have layers to them. Layers, that are revealed like peeling an onion, keeping the intensity high, the secrets revealed shocking. Andrea's past, everything she had to overcome, what she had made out of her life, you can't help but admire and adore her spunk, determination, desire to survive, and excel. Brandon can come off as a heel, his attitude isn't always the best, his preconceived assumptions frustrating, but he does admit his own shortcomings, takes ownership in his attitude, and grows in understanding of Andrea, and others with similar situations.
There are so many moments between Andrea and Brandon, that took my breath away. Them, face to face communicating, is vivid, energetic, even fierce, making me wait in aspiration of the outcome. The budding relationship is fragile, the feelings are raw, the pain of rejection is real, but the joy, tenderness, and support, protectiveness, all come to the stage, giving redemption. The fact that they are both professionals in human behavior, and how they could use the skills, not only in the case at hand, but with dealing with people around them, with each other, gave another dimension to the tale.
"This is some seriously dark stuff, pretty amazing story" - were my initial thoughts as I finish the book, on one reading. The Omega Series has blown my mind, book after book. They are easily read as stand alone stories, this especially, but I wouldn't miss any of them, if you are a romantic suspense fan, or enjoy a story with developed characters, intense situations, and life threatening danger.
~ Five Spoons
This whole thing was a terrible idea. Going back to Buckeye? Terrible. Going back with the likes of Brandon Han? Even worse. The plane hit some turbulence at thirty-five thousand feet, as if nodding in agreement with Andrea’s conclusion.
Brandon didn’t want to work with her on the case. He’d made that abundantly clear in Steve’s office. She wanted to assume it was her fault, that he knew about her shortcomings and lack of education as an Omega consultant, but forced herself to stop. He’d mentioned liking to work alone. She could understand that, too. Andrea liked working alone, but for different reasons.
Brandon’s irritation had been pretty tangible when she’d sat down next to him at the airport. It had just grown as they waited for their flight, first when she’d mentioned him being complicated, then when they were both looking through the case files.
By the time they got on the plane, about an hour after their scheduled departure time, Brandon was hardly even talking to her. He was mad—she had no idea why—and she was awkward—as usual around someone she was so attracted to. Good times.
Andrea tried to pretend she was reading the files when he handed them to her, but she wasn’t. She knew better than to even try. Her dyslexia made reading simple books difficult, although she had learned some exercises to help with that. But reading handwritten notes and case files often written in different fonts and sizes—that pretty much just led to a headache and frustration.
She’d had an extra hour at her apartment so she’d used the special software on her computer to scan a few pages so they could be converted into audio clips. She’d found that listening worked much better for her than trying to read. Unfortunately she hadn’t had enough time to scan all the files as she normally would.
Listening to the files on audio clips had just made Brandon more irritated. Andrea had no idea what to do about that, so she ignored it. She would listen to the clips she had, then spend this evening—all night if she had to—reading through the files in her room, when she was alone and it was quiet. She refused to go into that meeting with the local police tomorrow unprepared.
She didn’t want to go back there at all. If it wasn’t for Steve asking her to go, Andrea wouldn’t have done it, serial killer or not.
Maybe they wouldn’t run into anyone she knew. Or maybe the people in Buckeye wouldn’t recognize her. She’d gone to great lengths to look nothing like the girl who had worked at Jaguar’s. Her blond hair was shorter, cut in a flattering bob; her makeup was tasteful. She’d learned how to dress and present herself in a professional manner.
She doubted her own aunt and uncle would recognize her. Not that she planned to drop in on them. She hadn’t seen them since the last time her uncle, in a drunken stupor again, had awakened her with a backhand that had sent her sprawling from her bed to the floor when she was seventeen. Another punch had sent her hurling into a glass table. She’d gotten away from him and hidden that night, wrapping her cut arm in a T-shirt.
The next morning she’d told her aunt, who’d looked the other way again during all the commotion, that she was going to school.
Andrea hadn’t gone to school. And she hadn’t gone back home. Ever again.
She hadn’t gone far, just to the other side of the town she’d only ever known as home, but they hadn’t come looking for her. Had probably been relieved that she’d left.
So yeah, no joyous homecoming in Buckeye.
Nominated for the 2014 & 2015 Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award, and a finalist in multiple other Romance literary awards, Janie Crouch loves to read – almost exclusively romance – and has been doing so since middle school. She cut her teeth on Harlequin (Mills & Boon) Romances when she lived in Wales, UK as a preteen, then moved on to a passion for romantic suspense as an adult.
Janie recently relocated with her husband and four children to Germany (due to her husband's job as support for the U.S. Military), after living in Virginia for nearly 20 years. When she’s not listening to the voices in her head (and even when she is), she enjoys traveling, long-distance running, movie-watching, knitting and adventure (obstacle) racing.
She teaches online communication classes for an American college part time, and writes full time. Most of all, she loves to laugh and smile and count her blessings. And her blessings are many.
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