Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Deception Series by Jacqueline Randolph Great Reads!

Deception’s Guard By Jacqueline G. Randolph 

One of my favorite all-time movies is “The Long Kiss Goodnight.”  It was one of the first action/suspense movies I had seen where the female was the main character.  Geena Davis starred as an assassin for the CIA.  As I met Skye Mathews in Deception’s Guard, the first book in the Deception series by Jacqueline G. Randolph, I was reminded of my delight in having the female as the lead in an action-packed thriller! 

In Deception’s Guard, Skye is a top Drug Enforcement agent working undercover.  She is called back from her primary assignment to become the bodyguard for CEO Rhys Wielde, who has agreed to work with the DEA. Just as with the character played by Geena Davis, readers will quickly come to admire Skye’s courage, strength and commitment, while maintaining an underlying warmth and concern for those she serves and protects.  

Rhys had been shocked when, after extensive research and elimination of his possible involvement, he was contacted by the DEA, regarding his company, Genoreach.  They had determined that his company was responsible for the creation of a genetic receptor, code-named Omega, for all known illegal drugs.  That is, the receptor was designed to annihilate the biological receptors in the brain responsible for addiction and necessary for withdrawal and rehabilitation.  The destroyed receptors would be replaced by artificial receptors incapable of purging drugs, thus ensuring a captive market for drug smugglers!  Rhys had created Genoreach shortly after graduating from MIT. He had considered the small group of employees as his family and felt bitter betrayal and anger that one or more of them had not only turned against the goals of the company, but had worked to create something so monstrous and deadly.  Once he was convinced his company was involved, he agreed to help bring these traitors to justice.  That placed him in immediate danger from those who had first contacted his company representatives. 

While Skye was a long-term, experienced agent, she had learned through that experience that oftentimes men did not accept a woman as a bodyguard.  Instead, it was instinctual for them to try to protect the female in times of trouble.  Skye surmised that Rhys Wielde would follow that role.  So, while she had agreed to become his bodyguard, it was to be done without Rhys ever meeting her.  However, as she and other agents surrounded Rhys in a hideaway cabin, and a car drove slowly by without his knowledge, Skye realized that she would have to be closer if she were actually going to be able to protect him.  Skye’s plan was to meet him in disguise, as Sierra, and have him become interested in her, so that he would invite her to spend time in his company.  The plan worked—very well.  Unfortunately, the plan worked on Skye as well… Their attraction was instant…and real. But Skye is able to maintain control of her passion and, within Rhys’ arms as he kisses her, she plunges a syringe deep into his neck. As arranged, she pulls him into a hiding place; then crawls in, guns in both hands now, to protect him if necessary. She nervously listens, sweat pouring down her face, as those wanting to kill Rhys attack the cabin, and as her team fights against the assassins. 

When Rhys regains consciousness, the battle is over; Sierra is gone! But the first phase of the Omega operation is a success and they arrest the chief biologist and two information system programmers of Genoreach, along with a number of South American mercenaries. Now they must turn their efforts to those who initiated the research.  Just as the mercenaries gave up the Genoreach contacts, Rhys is permitted to shake information out of his former colleagues. He discovers that they were to make contact at an industrial conference in Peru.  Since Rhys had already been scheduled for attendance, he readily agrees to act as the promised systems analyst who would release the data and receive payment from the drug lords.   Although fearful of her own feelings, Skye is again asked to act as his bodyguard and Gabe, her boss and friend, has arranged for her to be disguised as a haggard domestic worker in the capitol mansion.

With various disguises, Skye is able to handle many of the activities necessary to the mission.  However, as the Haggard is called upon to guide him from danger and they must abandon their disguises to escape, Rhys unhappily discovers how the various characters Skye has played have fooled him.  Is the woman for whom he has such attraction, Sierra, Skye, or the domestic worker—or some other woman he has not yet met?  Rhys finally accepts and applauds that Skye is able to guard him. But, by the time they are nearing the end of their mission, and they are under attack, Rhys does exactly what Skye was afraid of—he takes the bullet that she should have taken and is badly injured.  

Deception’s Guard has constant action and twists, setting a pace that keeps the reader interested and involved. Jacqueline Randolph has used knowledge gathered through extensive traveling as well as her excellent writing skills to introduce wonderful characters whom you will quickly come to know and love. Then she takes us through a wonderful and exciting adventure in faraway lands of intrigue.  You might plan on buying the second in her series, Deception’s Fury, at the same time.  I read both books in two days, reading almost around the clock—plan to meet Skye and Rhys on Friday night and have a wonderful, exciting weekend! Trust me!  This author is on the move!  Watch her!  She is a challenge to J. D. Robb and many other well-established writers.  This is definitely a MUST-READ!  

Deception’s Fury By Jacqueline G. Randolph
Those who remember and enjoyed the original series for Mission Impossible will certainly welcome Deception’s Fury, by Jacqueline G. Randolph.  In fact, you will see that this story would have made a great script for that popular show. Fury is an exciting adventure that reveals a world known by few—a world where undercover Americans fight as part of the Drug Enforcement Agency to protect our citizens, demanding of themselves a commitment and loyalty to their mission that can only serve to inspire and amaze us. 

While this story may be fiction, it, nonetheless, elicits a response—a thankful, prayerful elation that there are those among our fellow Americans who work to serve and protect our United States.But, wait!  Before you read further, let me tell you that you will want to start right from the beginning of this series. Check out my review of Deception’s Guard because I believe you’ll want to read about the great love affair and the dangerous adventures of the two main characters before you are submerged into the Fury of the greatest challenge to that love in Randolph’s second book!

Yes, Deception’s Fury continues the story of the love affair between Rhys and Skye Wielde.  Skye has moved from her position as a Drug Enforcement Agent into an advisory position and has become Rhys’ wife and the mother of three beautiful children--a set of twins, and later a young son.  She is also a part-time professor and has established a local air charter business, sometimes working as one of the pilots. 

Rhys is head of Genoreach Technologies which is dedicated to research and development of bioinformatic technologies—the mating of biology and information systems.  A major deception at Genoreach had originally brought Rhys and Skye together (See Deception’s Guard) and nearly ten years of wedded bliss have passed.Until the day that messages were intercepted. Information that referred to their youngest son, who was called “Wolf,” had been discovered on the Internet. There are also references to Omega, the drug that had been created at Genoreach and had been found to be deadly.  Had the drug not totally been stopped?  Or had other scientists duplicated the process?  And what did it mean to have the involved ship, the ship that was known to transport drugs, have the same name as their son, with a captain who was called “Wolf”?

Skye, with her DEA background, extensive knowledge of the earlier mission, as well as having a pilot’s license, is asked to participate actively once again.  Declaring that she would act only as pilot to other DEA operatives, Rhys agrees to her involvement with the caveat specifying that, if she were not back in a month, he would come looking for her. But a month goes by and Skye is not home.  Not only does Rhys begin plans to track her down, but her boss contacts him and asks him to become involved and work with the DEA.  For they had received word that three agents were found dead.  Skye is missing. Soon it is discovered that Skye is alive and held captive although she has been beaten and is near death. A local woman who is an undercover agent has been able to convince the assigned guards that a doctor’s visit is needed. Skye is known to be a master of disguises but now it is Rhys’ turn and he is disguised as an elderly doctor by night while by day he holds a position as an embassy aide. The old woman meets Rhys, as the doctor, and brings him to Skye.  She has been beaten and bruised over her entire body, chunks of her neck and face are gone—eaten by rats.  She is covered and smells of her own excrement.  The horror of seeing her is almost too much for Rhys to bear. But little by little, he is convinced that his wife recognizes him and is able to respond to help his efforts to save her. 

Once Skye is saved and well enough to act on her own, she is once again driven and, against her husband’s wishes to go home, is relentless in her determination to finish the mission. Reluctantly, Rhys agrees to stay and help the team find the ship transporting the drugs.  The trail takes them to Ecuador, Buenos Aries, and finally to the Antarctica, the coldest most uninhabitable place on earth.  There, putting together all of the pieces of information she has gathered, Skye locates the ship--the ship which some claim to be a ghost ship because of its mysterious appearances and disappearances.But there is talk among the DEA team and bosses of Skye’s sanity . . . of her becoming a rogue agent.  Skye knows that in addition to her assigned mission, she has a personal need—to seek revenge on the murderer of her former DEA partner—and she doesn’t mind questions about her sanity as long as she is able to fulfill that quest as well as find the ship.  Rhys is there when she finds the location and is the only witness to a major shift from team plans, which support  the possibility she is indeed a traitor.  He is forced to believe that Skye is no longer the woman that he has known and loved.  Can he allow his wife to return and care for his children?  He will always love her, but his trust has been almost destroyed.  Can their marriage be saved? 

Deception’s Fury is indeed a love story, but that story is just a major underlying theme. The character of Skye is a major force, an individual who, in disguise, easily becomes a person who moves through the underworld of drugs and prostitution--with its many dangers--to overhear, discover and piece together where her target can be found and how to get to it.  Needless to say, the suspense and intrigue is heavy; the methods and actions of the team and undercover agents are frightening. What they must do to stay alive can only be considered monstrous and yet a very necessary part of survival.  With a surprise ending, readers are kept in suspense right to the ending!

Randolph has outdone many major writers in the creation of her two main characters and,  especially, her female lead. Skye will become one of your all-time favorite characters!

The tone and scenes bring readers into a distressing world and forces them to read on until the heroine allows them to leave…at the end of the book. Her writing is superb, the characters will become your heroes, and you will be searching for the next book in the series long before it is available. Trust me!  This author is on the move!  Watch her!  She is a challenge to J. D. Robb, with her husband/wife team, as well as many other well-established writers.  This is definitely a MUST-READ!

 

          

Tags: , , ,