Pure Dynamite
Lauren Bach
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Pure Dynamite

Lauren Bach
319 pages
September 2004
rated 4 of 5 possible stars
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Pure Dynamite, the latest romantic suspense novel by Lauren Bach, offers an action-packed read that keeps both the reader and the characters running from the first page right and doesn’t let up until the very end. With Bach’s fluid writing style, the pages keep turning, and before you know it, you’ve tumbled headlong into the same dangerous game as the characters.

FBI Special Agent Adam Duval is a man at the end of his rope. Three months after being recruited to go undercover in a special operation to bring down a notorious crime family, Adam is finally close to his goal. He has spent those months in a North Carolina prison as cellmate to Lyle McEdwin, getting close to the young man and gaining his confidence. Lyle’s father and his brothers are high on the FBI’s most-wanted list and are responsible for the deaths of more law enforcement officials than anyone in history. Adam will do whatever it takes to bring the McEdwin family to justice.

Meanwhile, North Carolina has been besieged by record storms and flooding, and the state’s emergency resources are stretched to the limit. The governor has pledged the entire prison workforce to help in the recovery efforts. While on a work detail from the prison, Adam stages a daring prison break, taking Lyle with him. The McEdwin family is close, always working together, and Adam plans to find and infiltrate the family circle through his association with Lyle. The escape has been planned for some time now, but almost from the very beginning things go wrong.

While switching cars at a commercial storage facility, Lyle is shot by an off-duty deputy in a shootout. Adam cannot allow Lyle to die or he loses his only link with the McEdwin family. He cannot take Lyle to a hospital, so he finds a clinic where a lone doctor is working late and forces her to treat Lyle’s gunshot wound. To keep Lyle alive, he kidnaps Doctor Renata Curtis while they hide from police. While at the clinic, Adam finds out that one of the prison guards was found dead after the jailbreak, and that he and Lyle are blamed for the crime. Adam knows that he and Lyle didn’t kill the guard, but that has intensified the authorities’ search for them.

The manhunt is on and tensions run high as the trio barely keep one step ahead of the law. Time is running out for Lyle unless he gets better medical care than Renata can provide, and the McEdwins have made it clear that Renata’s only value lies in her skills as a doctor. Once Lyle is well, she is disposable. Renata is desperate and tries to escape at every opportunity. But as time goes on, she finds herself attracted to the enigmatic Adam, whose actions are often contradictory to his words. She fears Lyle and his family, but cannot reconcile the facts of Adam’s criminal past to the strong, caring man she deals with on a daily basis.

Adam is playing a deadly game, trying to discover the whereabouts of the McEdwin family, uncover their latest deadly plot, which threatens to be bigger than anything they’ve ever done before, and keep Renata alive. He is attracted to the beautiful doctor and comes to care for her more than is safe for both of them. Adam must keep focused on his mission or they might both die.

But the McEdwin family are masters at eluding the authorities, always seeming to be one step ahead of the law. Adam begins to suspect that Lyle’s family may have sources in high places and unlimited resources at their disposal. His greatest challenge is to uncover the truth and get it to someone in authority he can trust. Then he must get Renata to safety before it is too late.

Pure Dynamite lives up to its name. Lauren Bach delivers a suspenseful novel filled with twists and turns that keep you off balance until the end. Adam Duval is a hero worthy of the title, and Renata is certainly more than a match for him. The action runs as hot as the romance that develops between the two, and keeps the reader racing to the finish.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Norma Collins, 2004

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