After escaping an attacker, a young woman teams up with a sexy FBI agent to bring him down in this series opener.
When Sacramento radio personality Daisy Dawson is pulled into an alleyway by a gunman in disguise, she manages to escape, but not before pulling a locket off his neck. The locket is distinctive and draws the attention of FBI Special Agent and linguist Gideon Reynolds. Gideon recognizes the design, and to his horror, he knows the girl whose picture is inside the locket. Turns out that Gideon was a member of The Church of Second Eden until the age of 13, when he escaped after killing one of the leaders in self-defense. He’s told most of his story (minus the killing) to his boss and has repeatedly tried to get the FBI to reopen his case, but the group moved soon after he escaped and hasn’t turned up since. Until now. Sparks immediately fly between Daisy and Gideon, and Gideon isn’t too upset to find out he’ll need to be her bodyguard until they can neutralize her attacker. Daisy also proves to be a big help in tracking down other surviving members of the cult. Unfortunately, Daisy’s attacker, who fancies himself a master of disguise, hasn’t given up on her yet, and he has a basement dungeon waiting just for her, as detailed in lurid passages in which Rose attempts to fashion a background explaining the origins of the man's bloody proclivities. Unfortunately, he never really rises above serial killer central casting and at times devolves into caricature. Refreshingly, however, Daisy isn’t set dressing, and she’s no wilting flower: She’s trained in self-defense, offers plenty of help during the investigation, and is a genuinely kind human being. Additionally, Daisy and Gideon’s romance, while quick in developing, still evolves naturally, and Rose gets kudos for emphasizing safe sex. However, it’s made clear early on that Daisy is in AA, but her alcoholism doesn’t seem to serve any other function but to make her more sympathetic, and her background, with its many, many convolutions, will stretch reader credulity. It’s too bad that two such likable characters are dropped into the middle of such a ho-hum story.
There’s a ton of filler but too few chills in this by-the-numbers thriller.