The Prey
Allison Brennan
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Buy *The Prey* by Allison Brennan

The Prey
Allison Brennan
416 pages
December 2005
rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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Having given up her career as a FBI agent, Rowan Smith has made quite a name for herself as the author of some bestselling crime novels. Living in a borrowed Malibu beach house, she is turning one of her novels into a screenplay when she gets some shocking news. A maniac has begun killing people in the exact same manner as she has described in her books down to the smallest detail and soon starts sending Rowan sick mementos of each crime. Suddenly all the terror, heartbreak and guilt Rowan thought she had left behind comes back to haunt her once more.

Wracked with guilt and concerned more for the forthcoming victims than for her own safety, Rowan reluctantly accepts the bodyguard services of the Flynn family. Both Flynn brothers are immediately attracted to her, but while Michael worships Rowanís every footstep, John, a former Delta Force officer, suspects she knows who the killer is. A complex love triangle brews even as the killer works his way through her books, getting closer to Rowan with each new kill. Is it a crazed fan or someone Rowan helped put away during her FBI days? Or could it be a demon from her past, come back from the dead to hunt her?

Without a doubt, author Allison Brennan has arrived, and that with a bang. Her debut novel, The Prey is a riveting read from start to finish despite dragging a bit toward the end. Heralding what promises to be a firecracker of a trilogy about the lives of three female FBI agents, this story depicts the havoc wrought in Rowan Smithís life when her fiction takes on a monstrous life of its own and comes back to haunt her. She is forced to confront her abusive and extremely traumatic past, long buried in the deepest recesses of her psyche, before she can make any sense of the violence ripping apart her present fragile peace.

Add to this volatile mix two sexy but dynamically opposite brothers who are both in love with her and a devious killer who will stop at nothing to get to his ultimate prey, and readers will find themselves stunned, dazed and hooked. One of Brennanís specialties is her in-depth characterizations. Although they consume page upon page, these take readers deep into the mind and motivations of all her main characters, even the killer. The authorís realistic descriptions of the murders and abuse not only hit close to home but leave readers feeling as if they have been through an emotional wringer. There is no denying the satisfaction of having read a well-researched, well-developed book as one turns the last page of this story.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Rashmi Srinivas, 2006

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