Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dangerous Commitments: Jodi Compton, HAILEY'S WAR

In 2004, Jodi Compton's first suspense novel, The 37th Hour, seized critical attention for the way its plot peeled back the secret histories of its characters, with constantly maintained tension. Her second novel was Sympathy Between Humans, a sequel featuring the same detective, Sarah Pribek.

There is no sense of series or connection to her third novel, HAILEY'S WAR. In this remarkable new work, the sense of a masterful hand maintaining suspense never fails. And it all starts with twenty-four-year-old Hailey Cain, recently ejected from West Point before graduating -- and thoroughly equipped for battle. Whether it's escorting a fragile young Mexican woman across the border to her relatives, following through on an old friendship with a woman who's now a gang leader, or keeping the secrets of her friends, Hailey keeps her commitments.

But when those commitments are to dangerous people, or even to nice ones in dangerous situations, this young almost-cadet has to fight repeatedly with body, mind, and soul to stay alive.

Hailey's deepest secrets aren't revealed until the book's stunning finale. It's worth every twist and passageway, every step and fumble, every ounce of her determination and honor, to get there.

[N.B. - to the right, the UK cover design. Also, check the author's web site for an interesting self-interview, "The Road to 'War.'"]

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