I have always been a big fan of Romantic Suspense novels. I have especially enjoyed the ones dealing with the FBI. These novels grab you in the first sentence and keep you up late at night trying to finish. The balance of romance and suspense are different in each; some romance plays the major role and in others, suspense gets the upper hand.
One of the first FBI thrillers that I read was Catherine Coulter’s The Cove which was published in 1996 and was the beginning of her bestselling Sherlock and Savich series, although Savich just has a minor role and Sherlock is not in the book at all. The book begins with Sally Brainerd fleeing from D.C. after her Senator father is murdered. She is the prime suspect but has no memory of what happened and may very well have killed him. She winds up in this quaint village on the west coast, The Cove. The FBI sends Special Agent James Quinlan undercover to follow and befriend Sally. Sally and James begin to not only investigate her father’s murder but also the strange number of people that have been disappearing from the Cove. Through twists and turns, both resolutions are unexpected and shocking.
Another good FBI suspense is Twisted by Andrea Kane. Former FBI agent Sloane Burbank is an independent consultant in crisis resolution. Her childhood friend mysteriously disappears, and Sloane cannot help but get involved. FBI Special Agent in Charge and former lover, Derek Parker, partners with Sloane as they discover that seemingly random disappearances and murders are linked. Then Sloane becomes the killer’s next target. Through the dark twisted pathways of a serial killer’s mind, the novel grabs you from the very beginning and doesn’t let go until the final page is turned. You might need the lights on for this one.
Another very suspenseful FBI thriller is Allison Brennan’s Sudden Death. When a homeless veteran is found brutally tortured and murdered in Sacramento, FBI agent Megan Elliot takes it personally, especially after the killer mails the vet’s dog tags to her home. Her investigation leads her to suspect that someone is going on a nationwide torture and killing spree of former Delta Force soldiers. Jack Kincaid, mercenary and former Delta Force, is separately pursuing an investigation of the murder of one of his friends. By-the-book Megan and Burn-the-book Jack are forced to team up as their cases link. This book is less romance and not for the faint of heart as the torture and depraved sex acts that the killers commit are gruesome indeed. However, the storyline is absorbing and kept me engrossed.
My favorite of the FBI romantic suspense subgenre is Julie Garwood’s FBI series. It has the right mix of romance, suspense and humor. The first one of the series is Heartbreaker. Father Tom Madden is in the confessional when a man says, “Bless me Father for I will sin”. Chillingly he describes his past of stalking and killing, and then names his next victim, Father Tom’s sister Laurant. Father Tom’s best friend, FBI agent Nick Buchanan can’t refuse his friend’s call for help. The killer makes it clear that if Laurant hides, he will kill someone else. In Father Tom’s and Laurant’s small Iowa town, Nick and Laurant pretend to be a couple to draw out the killer. An attraction grows between the two but one false move could kill them both.
Additional Recommended Titles:
Bait by Karen Robards
The Third Victim by Lisa Gardner
The Bliss Factor by Penny McCall
Left to Die by Lisa Jackson
The Ideal Man by Julie Garwood
The Maze by Catherine Coulter