Most Wanted
Michele Martinez
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Most Wanted
Michele Martinez
HarperTorch
Paperback
416 pages
November 2005
rated 4 of 5 possible stars
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Melanie Vargas, an ambitious and hardworking federal prosecutor, strives to achieve balance between home and work, a task made particularly difficult after the recent birth of her baby daughter and the subsequent separation from her cheating husband. Still struggling to resolve her personal feelings, Melanie happens upon the scene when the brutally tortured body of a wealthy former prosecutor is discovered by the police.

Smelling a high-profile case, Melanie makes herself part of the investigating team. She soon finds herself working with a handsome FBI agent who makes his attraction toward her obvious, but who doesn't care to divulge all his secrets. Melanie also has to face the wrath of her ruthless, control-freak boss, who is irked at losing the spotlight. As secrets are revealed and the body count rises, Melanie bravely continues, not realizing that even as she gets closer to the dark, sadistic killer, he's targeting her as his next victim.

Itís hard to believe this is the debut effort of author Michele Martinez, so skillfully plotted and tensely delivered is this slick new thriller. Martinezís talent lies in making her characters very real and human while throwing them repeatedly into extraordinary situations. Female readers in particular will find no difficulty in relating to prosecutor Melanie Vargasí struggles, both personal and professional, and this feeling of kinship naturally segues into Melanieís hunt for a brutal murderer.

Other supporting characters help round off the story and make it even more convincing. The suspense, to use a clichť, is killer and wonderfully maintained up until the very end. Martinezís book is not merely a suspense thriller in the conventional sense but also a character-driven thriller, such is the chaos and tension in their personal lives as well. With a fresh voice and perspective but with all the age-old skills of a masterful storyteller, Michele Martinez looks all set to blaze her way to glory with Most Wanted.



Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Rashmi Srinivas, 2005

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