First-rate thriller about a Coast Guard helicopter pilot crazier than most—a woman!
Even those who like Lieutenant Commander Ellie Somers hold little brief for her sanity. Sure, she’s terrific at what she does—might be, in fact, the best helo pilot on Air Station Sitka (Alaska). Her SAR (Search and Rescue) record is outstanding: 14 people pulled out of the drink (a bitterly cold drink often as not, given the geography), 14 lives that almost certainly would have been lost if not for her. Nevertheless, her colleagues argue, it’s well known that Ellie Somers “gets high on risk.” Her response is partial acknowledgment while assigning the lion’s share of blame—if there is blame—to male chauvinism. The Coast Guard, Ellie insists, isn’t comfortable with female pilots, which means the pressure is on the women not just to perform but to dazzle. Risk, then, is scarcely the issue: the reality of Coast Guard politics is. Still, it would be hard to deny that Ellie’s a natural gambler, the daring rescue of Nicolas Andreakis being a case in point. Her equally bold attempt to forestall a smuggling operation, however, makes exactly the opposite point and has disastrous consequences: a copilot killed and Ellie’s soaring career abruptly terminated. Reenter rescued Nicky—super-rich, indecently handsome—to lead her, if not actually down the primrose path, at least in a hedonistic direction she never expected to go. Suddenly, she finds herself among the fleshpots of Las Vegas and hopelessly in love. But is enigmatic Nicky in love with her, too, or is he the double-dealing scoundrel his father maintains he is? When the answers finally come, they’re shattering at first but redemptive in the long term.
An appealing heroine supported by savvy plotting. Morgenroth’s second outing (Kill Me First, 1999) proves again that she knows how to weave a spell.