Wednesday, February 2, 2011

72 Hours by Clare London

72 HoursTanner Mackay and Niall Sutherland were once far more than just fellow intelligence agents. But then a mission went horribly wrong and everything fell apart, sending Tanner into hiding and splitting the team and their affair wide apart.

Now an unknown traitor is threatening the team, and their ex-boss is determined to reunite them before it’s too late. She finds Tanner in a run-down trailer park, bringing with her a most unwelcome refugee in need of temporary sanctuary: Niall, the man he thought he'd never have to face again. The man he's sure feels exactly the same in return.

Trapped in a situation that’s both claustrophobic and highly dangerous, Tanner and Niall will have to revisit their past and reconsider their perceptions, their loyalties—and their desires—in order to survive, let alone forge a future together.

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The shadowy agency that Tanner Mackay and Niall Sutherland work for is under attack, leaving all the agents separated and out of touch, and Niall in need of a safe house. They're both in disgrace after their affair slopped over onto a mission, and Tanner's disappeared to a disreputable trailer park to wait out his suspension. Now, he's the best safe house available, even though closeting Niall in a small space with Tanner is a recipe for sparks flying -- there's a ton of unresolved issues between them, and the attacks are escalating.

The main action takes place over the 72 hours of the title, though the important backstory comes in flashbacks, a chunk here, a chunk there, and exposing their incendiary relationship and break-up. The two are violently ill at ease with one another, and they spend a lot of their time working out the problems between them, both personal and professional (considerable overlap :s), since they have large chunks of time where they are waiting for someone to bring the fight to them.

As a relationship under duress, this story works very well -- the men have a LOT of issues, and do manage to work through enough that you can see a future for them, and it's hot. A sequence where they manage to have sex while waiting for the bad guy, in spite of violating most good sense and even giving that violation a nod, still works well. Not good craft, sure, but the same impulse that made people have sex in bomb shelters during air raids. Tanner and Niall know that, laugh at it, and go at each other anyway, and I cheered them on.

As a thriller, this story doesn't work quite so well -- as a spy/security/troubleshooter agency, the outfit seems singularly unable to find its backside with both hands, starting with personnel and going on to operations. A more competent agency would have been facing some very different threats -- this one, and it's various complications, would have never arisen.

This story has three parts, back story, current romance, and the external threat, and two of the three work well enough to overshadow the third if you are willing to let it, which unusually for me, I am. I can see putting on my suspenders of disbelief (they're red elastic) and reading this one again.

Disclaimer: I won this book through a Desert Island Keepers giveaway.


Buy here.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for the review, and the care you put into it :). This was a delightful surprise for me, and it led me to your site, for happy future reading.

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  2. You are welcome -- thanks for coming by!

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