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Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Book Review: Intersection by Nancy Ann Healy

Intersection tells the story of Alex Toles, an FBI agent assigned to protect Congressman Chris O'Brien's ex-wife and son following the delivery of some suspicious letters. Alex soon learns that there is much more going on than meets the eye and becomes embroiled in political conspiracies. Added to her problems is the fact that she has quickly fallen for Cassidy O'Brien, making her desire to protect Cassidy and her son Dylan as much personal as professional.

The plot of this novel works really well. It's intriguing, fast-moving and with enough twists and turns to keep the reader interested. Healy has certainly mastered the use of cliffhangers, employing them to great effect throughout. She's also adept at cryptic dialogue, forcing you occasionally to struggle to keep up with what's going on. Some of the twists were expected, some weren't, and she often manages to build suspense by giving the reader knowledge the protagonist doesn't have. The cliffhanger at the end of the book to lead into a sequel is fine because the main tension of the book, the danger posed to Cassidy by a stalker, has been rectified. All that works well.

Similarly, the characterisation of Alex and Cassidy is excellent, although the love story is a little rushed at the beginning. They are different enough to spark off each other and I came away from the book thinking of them as real people. Dylan, the young son, is also well-drawn, not coming across as a cardboard cut-out the way some children in fiction do. Possibly my favourite character, though, is Cassidy's mother, Rose, simply because she's so grounded and practical.

All that said, I did have a few issues with the composition of the book. There's an intermittent problem where the tags after speech are wrongly capitalised (eg, 'Yes,' He said.) which is distracting. Equally, there's a little too much 'the agent', 'the teacher' identification throughout which was unnecessary and could easily have been remedied. Healy needs to keep a tighter grip on her prose, checking for repetitions within sentences and ditching some of the more obvious clichés.

I don't mean these to be criticisms so much as helpful observations. As I said above, I enjoyed the book as a whole - it kept me hooked despite the problems with the composition. I would like to see Healy improve and I will certainly be reading the sequel when it's released.

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