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Need to Know Paperback – March 27, 2012
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About the Author
Christine Merrill lives in rural Wisconsin about ten minutes outside of pizza delivery range with her high school sweetheart. She has two sons, a labradoodle, a pond full of goldfish and two cats with active social lives. She talks frequently about getting "just a few sheep or maybe a llama." Everyone breathes a sigh of relief when she stops.
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Need to Know is fast paced and smartly plotted. I found it an engaging read. The tension was built and maintained well and the action sections were skilfully handled.
What set it apart were the flawed but very likeable characters. The heroine is a red-head librarian with a smart mouth and bad taste in men - and the hero is not quite what he seems to be. I do love a 'Man of Mystery' trope... especially when the hero is playing a fades-into-the-background Dweeb.
These characters became very real to me. I was left wanting more when the book ended, and I caught myself worrying about what lay in their futures days after I finished reading. Needless to say I am keen for a sequel. I hope that Ms Merrill will oblige us with one. Soon.
So, if you want a well constructed thriller that is neither confusing nor heavy on the gore, has a nice bit of Unresolved Sexual Tension between two believable characters, then do yourself a favour and check it out.
Harper is a gruff secret agent who hates being in the field - especially when he's left holding the bag for his partner's misdeeds. Liz is the key to finding the bad guy, proving his own innocence, and stopping some very dangerous bio-weapons from being released into the general populace.
Need to Know is one of the best books I've read in a long time. It's intricately plotted but not confusing; funny, but not slapstick; romantic, but not over the top; and best of all - smart. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there will be more in the series. A highly recommended read.