MEREDITH FLETCHER – Best Man for the Job. Harlequin Romantic Suspense; paperback original, August 2011.

   Bill Crider it was who suggested that this book might be worth reading, with a positive review on his blog, and all in all, he was correct. You can check out his review here before continuing on, if you wish.

MEREDITH FLETCHER Best Man for the Job

   It wasn’t planned this way, but as it’s turned out, this is the third of three books in a row I’ve reviewed in which one of the leading characters is a female private eye. That Eryn McAdams works for a Las Vegas security firm doesn’t alter that fact, but it does mean that she’s not as much of a loner as either Kat Colorado or Kinsey Millhone. That she works for someone else and hasn’t reached anywhere near the top also means that’s not quite as good as either of her competition.

   That this is romantic suspense novel means that there’s another leading character, male, and luckily they’re working on the same side of the case, even though Callan Storm is, shall we say, suspicious of Eryn at first. Not too surprisingly, since Eryn’s job at the pre-nuptuals stag party is to burst out of a cake dressed in almost nothing at all (as a last minute substitution).

   And as she does so, so do the explosives go off, masked men rush in, and off they go with the groom to be. Callan, a member of an overseas Black Ops group, has been assigned by his sister (the bride-to-be) to watch over the wedding party and make sure nothing happens.

   From this point on, as the twosome set out to track the kidnappers down before the police do, it’s non-stop action, with lots of gunfire mixed in with romance. The attraction to each other that both of them feel is a major point of the plot, as Meredith Fletcher tells it.

   They can’t do it on their own, though, disappointingly. They need a third party who’s a computer whiz to do all kinds of magic tricks with cell phones, GPS devices, and hacking tools beyond the ken of mortal men. It sort of seems unfair.

   Bill suggested that this book might not have been out of place if it had been published in the 1950s as a Gold Medal thriller. I wouldn’t go that far, though I know what he’s talking about. The action is fast and furious, with a few deaths along the way, but the romance elements are too strong and non-subtle for me. In terms of its goals the author set for herself? I think she succeeded on all counts.

   Comparisons are hard. I wouldn’t say that Best Man for the Job is as good as the Kat Colorado book, the one I reviewed not so long ago, which had higher goals that I didn’t feel were met, but in many ways was still a better book. Apples and oranges, that’s for sure.