A Necessary Risk
by Kathleen Long
Harlequin Intrigue #976
A determined detective hell-bent on revenge.
Detective Zach Thomas had one goal: find out what really happened the day his brother died. Problem was he had to involve beautiful scientist Jessica Parker. Then, as Zach slowly uncovered some deadly secrets, his need for vengeance was overshadowed by his desire to protect Jessica.
A buttoned-up beauty who’d awakened a killer.
Jessica Parker knew she’d spent her life doing no harm, and yet somehow the research she’d conducted had gone so horribly wrong. Could her gorgeous protector prevent her from falling victim to an elusive enemy who’d stop at nothing to suppress the truth?
Review: Good plot, good characters, could have been a tad longer.
Detective Zach Thomas is on leave from the force. He’s determined to find out what happened to his brother. Jim’s death had been deemed “suicide” after jumping off the balconey of his college dorm room. But Zach knows it couldn’t have been suicide. They grew up together, and Zach had been taking care of Jim since their parents died. There’s no way his brother would commit suicide. Now Zach’s determined to find the answer. His brother had been part of a study, taking an experimental drug known as HC0815. Could the drug be to blame? Zach thinks so, and he’s determined to prove it.
Jessica Parker spotted Zach in the audience of reporters during a press conference and knows he’s an imposter, for his leather jacket and the hard, cold look in his eyes tells her he’s not a reporter. She’s cornered before the tour, and Zach’s questions have her wondering what’s going on. He can’t be right with his assumptions. Jessica had taken over the study only a couple of week prior, and none of the side-effects or reported problems are on the case reports. Is there really a problem with HC0815? Is someone covering up? Or could it be that Zach is grasping at straws? One way or the other, regardless of the threats against her and her parents, Jessican is taking the ‘necessary risk’ to find out.
**For me, the story should have been longer. I liked Zach and Jessica. Zach is sure that his brother’s suicide is a result of HC0815, and it’s his dogged determination that intrigues a character – wondering if his gut-instinct is right. Jessica, no stranger to heartache (her father was diagnosed with MS,) hopes one day to find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis, and while that day is far away, she’s hoping that HC0815 could be a possible cure, if not treatment, to Hepatitis C. She wants to discredit Zach, honestly believing that he’s wrong. But as she digs deeper, things aren’t adding up. What I liked about Jess was that, no matter the threats against her or her parents, the angrier she’d get, the more determined she became to finding out what was really going on.
While I enjoyed the mystery and results of the plot, the author uses enough descriptions in the pharmaceutical world to really understand that aspect without going overboard and too technical. I liked how you get quite the understanding of the testing and how it all works. What I really liked was, even though this novel is fiction, you wonder if it possibly really does exist in the real world, if greed can really effect the results of a test drug. It’s a truly scary thought.
I did feel a spark between Zach and Jess, but their relationship felt rushed. There wasn’t enough room inside of 200 pages for the characters to really grow attached to each other. While it was okay, it could have been great had the book been longer.