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We first met FBI Agent Cameron Ross in Devil’s Rock, where she and then Deputy Sheriff Andrea Sullivan hit it off so well, both professionally and personally. As a result, Andrea decided to team up with Cameron and transfer to the FBI. Of course, by then the relationship between the two women had already exploded into a hot romance.
Hell’s Highway, a stand-alone story in its own right, smoothly transitions the two women to a new assignment when they are sent to California to solve the mystery of yet another serial killer. The women travel in Cameron’s tricked-out FBI issue RV with its superb computer system that analyzes data to help pinpoint murders before they happen.
Women have already been murdered, their bodies discarded along the Mohave Desert highways. Identification proves almost impossible because the killer decapitates the victim and removes the head as part of a demented pattern. However, Cameron and Andrea soon figure out that the victims all have one thing in common that makes them easy marks for someone who likes to torture and kill.
Hill has a way of combining romance and thrills into one tight package and Hell’s Highway doesn’t disappoint. Cameron and Andrea, having fallen in love in the first story, haven’t had any difficulty in expressing their relationship up until now, because they’ve been working alone. In this story, however, they’ve been assigned to work with an FBI team and the two women struggle not to reveal their personal relationship to their co-workers. This results in interpersonal dynamics that cause concern and suspicion
Complications abound when one of the team, Carina Moretti, tries to put moves on Cameron and it’s revealed the two had a lustful relationship in the past. When Andrea befriends another team member, it forces Cameron to question her future with Andrea. In the midst of these tumultuous dynamics, trouble hits too close to home, when Andrea poses as a “fender lizard,” a prostitute that works the truck stops in the desert, and she finds herself in a dangerous situation from which the team may not be able to rescue her
Hell’s Highway is heart-pounding adventure. In true Hill fashion, the romance between Andrea and Cameron is a fully fleshed out story, while all around these two characters, the chaos of a thriller-mystery unfolds, keeping the reader turning page after page
Finally, for a little well placed comic relief, the team’s computer geek, who is so enamored with the developer of the software program Cameron uses to predict a serial killer’s next moves, falls all over himself to be able to use the program and sing the praises of the FBI developer. Luckily for the team it turns out that he’s also very good at what he does—and more than once he comes to the team’s rescue using his technological savvy
A study in professional relationships as well as personal ones, the tensions within the team prove an interesting character study as they try to solve this very perilous case. Heart-pumping action abounds right up until the culmination of the story while the sensual attraction of the two main characters threads throughout, satisfying both the romantic and the thrill-seeking mystery lover.
Some may say that Hill’s stories are formulaic; however, she is a master storyteller and each tale seems fresh and new in spite of any similarities in form. The characters never appear as clones of those who have inhabited previous tales because they are truly multi-dimensional and have unique individual traits that keep the stories fresh. Each plot is told from a unique perspective with details that are creative and crisp.
Hell’s Highway is not for the faint of heart, but it is for the romantic who is willing to hang on for a very bumpy ride!
By Gerri Hill
Paperback, 9781594932601, 229 pp.