Friday, July 8, 2022

Critical Alliance by Elizabeth Goddard

About the book:

She's seeking answers. He's seeking respite.
The past is seeking both of them.

Mackenzie Hanson's special set of skills opened the door to a successful career as a professor of cybersecurity at a Michigan university, allowing her to put her criminal past behind her. But when a long-ago partner in crime delivers a cryptic message about her father's tech company being under cyberattack, she heads for Montana to secure exposed assets, close security breaches, and protect her father's company.

Diplomatic Security Services special agent Alex Knight is back home in Montana to decompress from a mission gone wrong. But even as he's trying to relax, he's drawn into another mystery, complete with suspicious deaths, lethal threats, and whispers of espionage that all have one thing in common--a beautiful cybersecurity expert with a dark past.

When the situation turns deadly, Alex and Mackenzie will have to work together to find the answers they need--before someone silences Mackenzie for good.

You can read an excerpt here.

You can read my reviews of the earlier books in the series: Present Danger and Deadly Target.

My Review:

This is the third novel in a series but reads relatively well on its own. People from previous novels do appear in this one but the focus of the plot does not require having read the earlier novels in the series.

The plot structure is such that this novel got off to a rough start for me. The first chapter introduces us to a very traumatized Mackenzie. The next chapter takes us to another character and another setting. Later chapters do return us to MacKenzie and we get a little of her background and find out for some reason she is experiencing a great deal of guilt and fear. It is not until 23% into the book we get a little insight into her past actions causing current anxiety. It is not until 40% into the book we finally find out what it is she fears and what caused it. I would have rather had some foreshadowing, some memories, something to give us an idea much earlier about what was plaguing Mackenzie.

The central focus of the suspense is cyberterrorism and hacking. I liked learning about it. It is a little scary what hackers might do to a pacemaker, for example, or a modern car with all its computer technology.

Goddard's writing style focuses on character thought and reflection. There is lots of that kind of prose interspersed with periodic suspense. This is a good novel for readers who do like lots of characters thinking of possibilities or ruminating on past experiences. There is a good budding romance.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

Elizabeth Goddard
 is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of more than 50 novels, including the Rocky Mountain Courage and Uncommon Justice series. Her books have sold over 1 million copies. She is a Carol Award winner and a Daphne du Maurier Award finalist. When she's not writing, she loves spending time with her family, traveling to find inspiration for her next book, and serving with her husband in ministry. For more information about her books, visit her website at
Photo Credit: Madeleine Coussens Photography

Revell, 352 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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