Saturday, November 15, 2014

Review: Havoc by Steven F. Freeman


Media Type: Ebook 
Title: Havoc
Series: Blackwell Files Book 4
Author: Steven F. Freeman
Publisher: Self
Pages: Ebook; 371
Release Date: July 22, 2014
Source: Author
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Genre: Thriller/Mystery

HDB Rating: 2 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Fans of the series

Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon / BookLikes

Technology So Valuable It Could Change Your Life…Or End it When Cryptologist Alton Blackwell takes his girlfriend, FBI Agent Mallory Wilson, on a surprise trip to Italy, the couple expects the vacation of a lifetime, but their pleasure is short-lived. Intent on selling Vidulum Inc.’s proprietary technology to the highest bidder, a rogue employee of the high-tech company arranges a clandestine meeting at one of Rome’s most famous tourist attractions. Rather than collecting a huge payday, however, the company turncoat encounters a lethal surprise. When Alton and Mallory rush to assist the dying scientist, they find themselves pulled into the subsequent murder investigation. 
Foreign and domestic agents, corporate spies, intellectual-property thieves, and shadowy underworld figures race to acquire the technical files stored on the dead employee’s missing cellphone and reap the billions of dollars and technological superiority now at stake. 
Despite their efforts to leave the tragedy behind and continue their vacation, Alton and Mallory soon learn their own lives are in danger. They are left with no choice but to join forces with the Roman police in an effort to crack the case. While diving into the investigation, the discovery of another man in Mallory’s past disrupts Alton’s plan to move his relationship with her to a new level. 
As they encounter unexpected twists at a breakneck pace, Alton and Mallory must summon all their intellectual powers to reveal the truth behind the Vidulum employee’s death and track down the missing technological plans before a life-threatening end game can be set in motion.
I wanted to like this book, I really did. The synopsis drew me in and I was hoping to be taken on an adventure. European travels, murder, mystery, romance: all things I love in a novel. Unfortunately Havoc did not resonate well with me.

Freeman was very detailed in the location descriptions and made it easy to follow the path of Mallory and Alton as they traversed through Europe which I appreciated. I got a sense of timing and some brief descriptions of the various fountains, monuments and museums they visited on their vacation. I didn't see the final plot twist coming so the mystery was well built.

Full disclosure: I haven't read the first 3 books in the series so perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if I had more character background. Alton seemed a bit whiny and insecure about his relationship which, given the brief glimpses of their past, seemed silly. I didn't particularly like the dialogue between the characters as the conversations seemed forced and overly detailed. There were no inferences in the way Alton and Mallory communicated, every detail was stated matter-of-factly which seemed unnatural for a couple that had been friends for years and traveling together.

All in all this was not my cup of tea, but if you're a fan of the series, or of the genre you may enjoy it!
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

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