Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Play Nice by Gemma Halliday

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.

Gemma Halliday's website is

Play Nice by Gemma Halliday. Minotaur Books. 2012. ISBN 9780312656072 (hardcover), 258p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


Judy Starbuck said...

Wow! I can't wait to read it.

Lesa said...

Couldn't put it down, Judy.

Beth Hoffman said...

You've done it again, Lesa! This one will have to go on my TBR list.

Lesa said...

Well, it will certainly be a distraction, Beth. It's quite a book.

Karen C said...

Wow! I love thrillers and this sounds like a fantastic read - thanks!

Lesa said...

It was a terrific book, Karen. I think you'll like this one.

Kris Meyer said...

I haven't heard too much about this one but it sounds really good..def. going on the wish list.

Lesa said...

I never saw much about it either, Kris. Even so, it was good, and I'm going to booktalk it next Wednesday to the librarians.