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Jamie Richmond is a freelance writer who gets into a sticky situation when she investigates the career-ending shooting of a state trooper.  While Jamie is riding along with an on-duty trooper to research her new book, she sees Officer Kleinschmidt get shot by the passenger in a truck he pulls over.  Acting quickly, Jamie saves his life, but afterwards, he doesn’t seem very grateful and accepts his medical retirement easier than she does.  Jamie can’t let it go and continues to investigate the shooting.  Each layer she pulls away puts her deeper in jeopardy, endangering her life and her promising relationship with State Trooper Sergeant Malone.

Devious enjoyably mixes romance and mystery.  Jamie’s inquisitive nature drives the book. She’s likable, despite her tendency to question everything and to doubt the possibility of true love. Malone is a highly appealing love interest, although it’s hard to pin his personality down.  Mark Love capably builds tension as the shooting aftermath unfolds, and it’s clear that things are far from clear-cut.  The reader feels Jamie’s sense of doubt in the people around her. Who is lying and who is telling the truth?  The suspense is well-done, as the reader is not allowed to guess outright who is behind the attempts on Jamie’s life until the end of the book.  Overall, this is a good romantic suspense novel, although the climax was too abrupt and lacked the tension that the author worked so hard to build over the course of the novel.

Danielle Hill