Series: Deep Ops #4
Published by Zebra Books on 26th January 2021
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Angus Force is determined to hunt down the serial killer he'd once shot dead--or so he thought. But an anonymous source reports that Lassiter is alive. Force hasn't slept since, knowing it's only a matter of time before "the Surgeon" strikes again. And soon, a body is found, bearing Lassiter's same maniacal MO. It's just the beginning of a murderous trail blazing through DC and Virginia, right to Force's backyard...
Nari Zhang is the shrink for the ragtag Deep Ops Unit, though she isn't Force's shrink--which is a very good thing. Because once they're thrown together on the case, their attraction is explosive and irresistible. They'll just have to fight that much harder to keep the heat between them from flaming out of control. But things are about to become far more challenging, and deadly, than they could have imagined...
Once the killer catches a glimpse of Nari, she becomes his new obsession. She is now the focus point--for both Force and Lassiter--in a dangerous dance for survival...
The Deep Ops series is one where a ragtag crew (with their own quirks that sometimes straddle the unbelievable) battle the little things that go wrong, but ‘Driven’ feels a bit more like a police procedural gone rogue. Angus Force and Nari Zhang have had some sort of tension in Rebecca Zanetti’s previous books in the series and ‘Driven’ is their story, where the catalyst that brings them together is the return of a serial killer that has long haunted Angus dreams.
The premise is certainly quite an unusual one that kept me reading: the mutual preoccupation of Angus Force and the serial killer Lassiter that dates all the way back to Angus’s FBI profiling days and the fateful day that his sister got caught in Lassiter’s net. Except that Lassiter’s supposed to be dead…until dead bodies of women who resemble the team members in Angus’s crew start turning up and showing the same hallmarks of Lassiter’s kills.
Barring the action scenes aplenty, there isn’t nonetheless, much context given to this abnormal relationship between Angus and Lassiter; much less clear is the odd (and not-too-convincing) revelation at the end about who really was pulling Lassiter’s strings all along. As a result, those who dive straight into ‘Driven’ might have some difficulty assimilating why Angus is the way he is, who the secondary characters are and how Nari and her job seem to be so integral to the plot.
The murder mystery did sometimes overshadow the growing relationship between Angus/Nari, which seemed to progress in uneven patches that moved quickly from work colleagues to lovers to lovers-being-in-trouble to HEA. They’re not a surprise pairing because Zanetti has been hinting at them from the start, but I wish she could have done them more justice with their emotional development instead of constantly thrusting them into one dangerous whomping scene into the next.
Overall though, this is definitely the book I enjoyed the most in the series. Despite my reservations, it was a fun ride and a few days’ worth of entertainment.