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In The Midnight Sun, FBI Agent Tabitha Knowles is taking some time off to enter a marathon boat race in the Canadian wilderness with her workmate, Victoria Wallace. Vic and Tabitha have a friendship that has developed over the years, so when Vic announces that she must pull out of the race before it even begins, Tabitha is conflicted about continuing. In the end, Vic insists that Tabitha go on without her. However, in order to do that, she must find a new rowing partner—and quickly.
An impromptu lead introduces Tabitha to Diana Crenshaw, a woman with the right experience who’s looking for someone to row with. Tabby can’t believe her good fortune at finding a companion for her journey, but what she doesn’t know is Diana is a woman with a past who is being followed by trouble. That little piece of information is only revealed once the women are on the water, completely and utterly isolated, and bullets start to whiz by them. As the story continues to unfold, it becomes obvious that both women have kept secrets from one another from the start of the voyage. As they find themselves plunging deeper and deeper into proverbial “hot water,” the truth starts to unfold. But as more and more information is revealed, especially on Diana’s part, it only serves to complicate the situation all the more until a pall of doubt and concern hangs on the story like a thick morning fog on a river.
Adams tells this tale of danger and survival in dramatic fashion. Just when you think the women are home free, the bad guys find a way to insert themselves back into the story, making for heart-thumping adventure. In addition, the mutual attraction between the two women may make the reader want to scream at them that trouble will be compounded if they start a relationship in the midst of all the turmoil they’re experiencing. As the story continues, we’re never really sure whose side Diana is actually on, or if she only has her own selfish interests at heart, making the budding relationship between the two women all the more complicated and somewhat threatening.
The main characters of this story are well drawn and the bad guys are just plain mean and hateful. Occasional humor as a break in the tension is skillfully inserted and always welcome. The circumstances of Diana’s problems become even more convoluted when she finally reveals that the tale she initially told Tabitha includes an American extremist group hell-bent on terror, forcing Tabby to realize that the urgency has just ratcheted up a notch or two. Now, not only are their lives at stake, but so are the lives of countless others, if the bad guys get their way.
The action is heart-stopping, the fear seems real and almost palpable as the antagonists pop up in the most unlikely places at times when the reader least expects to see them, potentially causing glances over the shoulder while reading. Some of the ways in which the women get out of the jams they’re in seem a little too contrived, but this is a minor issue in the story. All in all, the story is a page-turner, right up until the end. And if Tabitha Knowles can pull off yet another rescue, the relationship might just have another chance and she might save the day along the way. But some of that depends on dumb luck and whether or not Tab is willing to buck against the system and take the consequences—and sometimes luck seems to have deserted Tabitha.
At times frightening, at other times a madcap, crazy story, The Midnight Sun is worth a read for high misadventures and scary circumstances with some very tentative romance thrown in for good measure. A word of caution, though: you might not want to read it on a dark and stormy night—or maybe you do!
The Midnight Sun
By Nene Adams
Paperback, 9781594933523, 288 pp.