BODY HEAT, by Brenda Novak
Publisher: Mira Books (Harlequin)
It was a horrible experience that jump-started New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Brenda Novak's career-- she caught her daycare teacher drugging her children to get them to sleep. Deciding she needed to work from home, she penned her first novel, and has been a household sensation ever since. Other titles include: Trust Me, Watch Me, Stop Me, Dead Silence, Dead Giveaway, Dead Right, The Perfect Couple, The Perfect Murder, The Perfect Liar, and Mother, Please. She also heads an annual fundraiser for diabetes research every May. Brenda resides in Sacramento, California with her husband and five children.
New Chief of Police, Sophia St. Claire, has been catching flack ever since she took the job in Bordertown, Arizona. She's the youngest to hold such a position and she's a woman, not to mention she got where she is after the last Chief was fired for questionable behavior. A point most in town resent her for. But twelve people have been shot and left to rot in the hot desert sun, leaving Sophia feeling in over her head. Department 6 operative Roderick Guerrero's involvement isn't helping. The bastard son of a wealthy local rancher has returned to town to aid in Sophia's investigation, but they have a shared history they can't get past. Maybe he's different. Maybe he's grown up. But as they hunt for a ruthless killer hiding among them, it isn't only the desert that's sparking heat.
This is Book Two in the Department 6 Trilogy, with White Heat coming before, and Killer Heat releasing after.
The hero and heroine meet, or rather are reunited, after a few chapters in this story. There is such insane chemistry between them, and clever bantering, that I couldn't help but feel disappointed in the first part of the book, as once they were together, they shadowed everything else. That's not really a knock on the book so much as an applause for good characters. Usually in a Brenda Novak book the reader is in the killer's head as much as the main characters. Not so in this one. We are in tune to other suspects, but this book is different because there's not just one bad guy, making for a compelling read. What stands out most of all is the well-researched immigration issues, and it comes at you from all sides. You'll walk away from reading this with an entirely different aspect than when you went in. Bravo! A highly recommended read from a stand alone author.
Author and Reviewer,