"Havoc", by Steven F. Freeman

Havoc - Steven F.  Freeman

Volume # 4, in the Blackwell Files

Although this book is part of a series it works quite well as a standalone. I haven’t read the previous books and I wasn’t lost or even thought that I had missed anything.

A simple blurb:

When Cryptologist Alton Blackwell and girlfriend, FBI Agent Mallory Wilson decide to take a trip to Italy for a nice romantic vacation their pleasure was soon squashed. While on a sightseeing tour the love birds witnessed a murder, turned out the victim was a rogue employee of a high tech company arranging to sell sensitive technology to a foreign country. They soon find themselves pulled into the murder investigation.

A few thoughts:

The story is interesting and intricately woven to keep us in suspense and involved for most of the book. We are kept on edge all through trying to figure who is the brain behind the conspiracy till the very end. The author has plotted his story leaving only drips of clues while we surf amongst the many players that crosses the protagonists’ path: Italian Inspector, the mafia, a mole in the police, killers for hire…etc. this is very well- done. This International intrigue is in most part a page-turner till you magically find out the whodunit…then the story changes into a mushy romance (one, definitely written by a man). “Havoc” is unrealistic and at times disconnected….Most characters are well developed but I couldn’t stand Mallory. Too often her depiction got on my nerves and I especially detested how she called Alton “Sweetie” after all he is a grown man not 8 years old....We have weak dialogue and the narrative could have used a good shove from time to time but in all this is a good story.