Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Lethal Affairs by Kim Baldwin and Xenia Alexiou

Publisher:              Bold Strokes Books

Lethal Affairs introduces an adventure series featuring the Elite Operatives Organization. This is a top secret group based in Colorado that recruits children with special talents from all over the world and then raises them to be super agents with espionage and combat skills. The EOO is contracted by governments and other organizations to deal with situations that they legally can't solve. When they aren't on an assignment, the agents assume regular identities and mix in with the rest of the world.

Luka Madison has a reputation as a very skilled art restorer who travels the world working in exotic settings. That she is also the highly effective agent Domino is a secret kept by the EOO. It seems like a routine assignment when she is called in to lead a team in eliminating a drug lord, but mistakes are made and the situation isn't concluded with Domino's usual efficiency.

Hayley Ward is an upcoming newspaper reporter who is looking for that one big story that will make her career. When she receives a videotape of the assassination and a note about the EOO, she knows she's found it, but now she has two mysteries to solve. What is the EOO and who is feeding her the information to uncover its operations? 

Luka's new assignment is to find out what Hayley knows, how she knows it and if she needs to be eliminated to protect EOO. The story spins through murder, blackmail, corrupt officials and political intrigue. When the EOO decides to go after both Domino and Hayley, Domino finds herself not only trying to save their lives, but questioning her loyalties and priorities. 

Kim Baldwin has long been known by her fans for her adventure books. This series written with Xenia Alexiou introduces an edge and sense of intrigue that are new. Lethal Affairs fulfills its function of setting up the series very well. It gives enough details about the operation of EOO so that readers will understand what it is about, but there aren't enough details to cause this particular book to bog down. 

Set in sophisticated and exotic locales, Lethal Affairs shows the depth of research done by the writing team and their ability to portray scenes vividly. The action is fast paced, the bad guys are really bad, and the reader can be swept up in the ability of the agents to handle any situation.

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