Hell On Wheels by Julie Ann Walker

hell-on-wheels

When Grigg Morgan died on an Uncle Sam approved Black Knights Inc. covert op it was up to Nate “Ghost” Weller to tell the family. It hurt to lie to Grigg’s sister, Alisa, the truth went into the box of things he couldn’t tell her, like his feelings for her hadn’t changed in a dozen years. Nate couldn’t change what happened but hoped Ali knew she could always count on him for any and everything.

Ali’s sure she’s being followed by someone she can’t see. Afterward she’s a victim of an attempted mugging. In an effort to get answers she goes to Nate. Ali insists she must have something someone wants. Not only does the team agree with Ali, they know more than they did and the need to get all their questions answered is now overwhelming. The team dispatches to search for the MacGuffin.

The insidiously evil egotistical villain lacked presence. His theatrics worked for his disposable and interchangeable henchmen except one with questions. Most of the secondary characters, particularly Dagan, Frank and Becky, were fleshed well enough, unfortunately no one shared with flat leads Ali and Nate, who had no spark, stilted dialogue and didn’t believe their romance either.

Flimsy Ali fixated onto a meaningless act that became her life’s work and stoic alpha Nate had difficulty escaping the illogical reasoning or the paper bag that had him trapped. Excluding the leads some pieces were exciting and combined for a fun read. At times this read was Mystery Science Theater for books in my head.

This debut outing for what is a moderate sized and successful series started on a shaky foundation for my taste but curiosity is driving a desire to see the potential settle the foundation or confirm this isn’t a series for this reader. I must know!
Rating: 3.5stars

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