Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ice Blue - Anne Stuart

Museum curator Summer Hawthorne considered the exquisite ice-blue ceramic bowl given to her by her beloved Japanese nanny a treasure of sentimental value-until somebody tried to kill her for it.The priceless relic is about to ignite a global power struggle that must be stopped at all costs. It's a desperate situation, and international operative Takashi O'Brien has received his directive: everybody is expendable. Everybody. Especially the woman who is getting dangerously under his skin as the lethal game crosses the Pacific to the remote and beautiful mountains of Japan, where the truth can be as seductive as
it is deadly...

Book nº 3 in the Ice series this one focuses on Takashi, the Japanese committee member we met in Cold as Ice and Summer Hawthorne. A museum curator whose Japanese bawl maybe a lot more important than she thinks.

The book follows more or less the same structure than the two previous books, the hero is a member of a secret organization who fights the bad guys all over the globe, the heroine is an average woman who finds herself in a desperate situation and needs help. I must say that regarding heroes and plots this series is starting to remind me of the British TV series Spooks – I am sure Stuart would be a great scriptwriter for the series as most of the elements are common to both her books and the TV show.

I though Takashi came across as a bit too arrogant for his own good, he is ordered by the committee to retrieve Summer’s bowl and stop it from following in the hands of a secret Japanese sect whose plans for it may well involve a blood bath. To do that he must use every skill and if needed be, terminate Summer. While he is unable to kill her he keeps using a condescending tone with her that I did not really like in the beginning, but in the end we realize that he uses that as a defense against his growing attraction to her. I thought the glimpses of Japanese life and culture that Stuart shares were really interesting and in fact that made me really like the story all the more.

Summer is the usual Stuart heroine, intelligent but with big insecurities, she pretends to be much more self-assured than she really is and Takashi sees through that immediately. She knows he is dangerous and even if he saved her life several times she cannot stop being aware that he can kill her too if he decides to.

A very enjoyable read in which Stuart manages to keep the suspense until the last page. And of course now I want to know about Isobel and Reno.
Grade: 4/5

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