Whew! I don't know what else to say about Gemma Halliday's Play Nice. I don't know when I read such a riveting story that kept me on the edge of my seat. Talk about adrenaline!
Anya Danielovich was an assassin in Yugoslavia. But, that was fifteen years earlier, another life, another name. She faked her death to escape that life. But, she can't ever rest and she moves from house to house, city to city, trying to hide in the United States as Anna Smith. She doesn't know how much longer she can stay at her San Francisco job for a non-profit animal shelter. She has a boxer named Lenny, and a wish for a normal life. But, "She'd never be able to outrun Anya." Even so, she never expected a deluge of bullets to hit the shelter.
Nick Dade is a hired gun. He's tracked his target, even spoke to her one night when her dog lunged at him in a laundromat. And, he's all set to kill her, when someone else attacks the shelter where she works. Instead of shooting her, Nick finds himself helping Anna Smith escape from some other killer. And, he's angry. Who else has tracked his target, and why are they trying to kill her?
Play Nice is the story of the uneasy partnership between two assassins on the run. They don't know who is after them. And, they certainly don't trust each other, because neither of them know how to trust someone else. But, Dade and Anna may have to team up if either of them hope to survive. And, along the way, they'll learn it's hard to escape the past.
Halliday's thriller is gripping. She created two characters that the reader truly cares about, even though they're assassins. And, for the many readers that care, I do have to say that no animals are killed in the course of this book. (I know some readers who won't read the book if they think Lenny doesn't survive.) Play Nice is fast-paced and suspenseful, but it also has a few elements of humor to relieve the tension. And, believe me, you'll need to have some relief from this nerve-wracking book. Kudos to Gemma Halliday for Play Nice, a terrific story.
I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I am a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, ReadertoReader.com and VibrantNation.com. Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
It's an honor to be asked to review books, and I'm grateful to all the publishers, publicists, and authors who send me books. Thank you. Reviews will appear on my blog if I've had a chance to read, and finish, the book. If I do not finish a book, I won't review it, and I will not respond to emails asking when, or if, I'll be reviewing a book.
My reviews are only my opinion, and do not reflect the views of the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library.
I will not review self-published books, and, at the present time, do not accept books in e-book format.
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