DEADLOCK by Cherrie  Lynn


From the "Hacker World" series, volume 1
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In Lynn’s (Enticing Iris, 2019, etc.) romantic thriller, a software engineer seeks help from an alluring hacker who had a complicated history with her missing twin sister.

Lindsey Morris is accustomed to her identical twin’s flakiness, but she’s infuriated when Lena skips out on their parents’ anniversary party. Lena finally responds to Lindsey’s messages with a vague text, telling her to get help at a particular address. Lindsey first goes to her sister’s trashed apartment, where a strange man calling himself “Griffin” shows up, claims to know Lena, and asks Lindsey not to notify the police. Lindsey then goes to address that her sister supplied, where she’s surprised to see a man she knows: Jace Adams. Lena had asked Jace to hack into MIT’s system years ago to change her grade, which resulted in him getting the boot from the university. Lindsey convinces him that she’s not Lena, but he’s reluctant to help her search for her missing twin. Still, he and Lindsey quickly grow close, and he soon shares his suspicions about who may have abducted her sis. It turns out that Jace works for the Nest, a clandestine group of white-hat hackers whose former member has a vendetta against him. Lena’s disappearance, however, may have to do with yet another secret. In any case, Lindsey, a highly skilled coder, is determined to find her, even if she has to do it alone. Lynn successfully establishes a believably contentious relationship between the two leads. Jace initially has trouble trusting Lindsey, as he’s hated her sibling for years, and Lindsey, quite rightly, deems him “a real asshole” shortly after they meet. Nevertheless, a mutual physical attraction is there from the start, and their sympathy for each other gradually grows into affection. Lynn also keeps the plot moving at a steady clip, with steamy, sometimes-explicit sexual encounters and instances of imminent peril. However, the story’s technological aspect feels stunted, as readers hardly see Lindsey’s capabilities; her covert installation of software, for instance, involves little more than plugging in a flash drive, and she tackles another problem by merely rebooting a computer.

The lead characters’ well-defined intimacy gives this uneven tale a boost of energy.

Pub Date: June 25th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-64063-535-7
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Program: Kirkus Indie
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