Lisa Black’s debut thriller, Takeover, set in Cleveland during the heat of summer, generates some heat of its own. Theresa Maclean, a medical investigator much like a Kathy Reichs character, is investigating a murder with her homicide detective fiancé, Paul Cleary, when Paul decides to go downtown to the Federal Reserve Bank to speak to a co-worker of the victim.
When Theresa learns that Paul has walked into robbery at the bank and been taken hostage, she races to the scene. There she finds hostage negotiator Chris Cavanaugh in charge. He is thought to be their best, but Theresa wonders if he isn’t just a bit too egotistical to do the job right and make sure her Paul is rescued in time. There are a total of six hostages with Paul, and Theresa is too upset to sit by and wait for something to happen.
When it is discovered that Paul has been injured, Theresa talks the kidnapper, Lucas, into letting her take his place. It isn’t until she gets inside that Theresa realizes there is more to this robbery than meets the eye. Suddenly, Theresa must trust and work with Chris Cavanaugh on the outside in order to accomplish her goal of saving everyone.
As things progress, the robbers’ motives become clearer to Theresa, and she realizes that perhaps she has taken on more than she should have. She does what she thinks is right but the situation grows worse. Theresa is caught up in a fast-paced car chase that eventually brings about a conclusion to a somewhat predictable plot at this point.
Fans of Kathy Reichs and Tess Gerritsen will enjoy Lisa Black’s first novel. There are enough exciting twists and turns (although some are fairly predictable) to make this an exciting, easy, fun read. The nicely developed characters’ dialogue is what one would expect to hear from them, making for a satisfying story with well implemented narrative elements. Black’s career shows great possibilities for new fans who anticipate more of her work in the future.