Sunday, October 20, 2019

Review: "Dark Ambitions" by Irene Hannon

After reading (and loving!) my first Irene Hannon suspense novel last year, I was eager to get my hands on her next suspense release, Dark Ambitions. It was definitely worth the wait!

Former Army Night Stalker Rick Jordan usually has his camp for foster children to himself during the winter months. But someone has visited recently--leaving a trail of blood. One of the two clues left behind tips Rick off to the identity of his visitor, who soon turns up dead. The police deem it an accident, but Rick isn't convinced. With the help of private investigator Heather Shields, he sets out to decipher the remaining clue. Except someone doesn't want them to succeed--and will stop at nothing to keep them from finding the truth.

With her trademark psychological suspense ratcheting up the tension on every page, bestselling and award-winning author Irene Hannon takes you on a search for a cold-blooded killer with an ambitious goal and deadly intent.

I had it on good authority that I would enjoy Dark Ambitions, and enjoy it I did! (My college friend Holly, another voracious reader, told me the book was excellent.)

The book begins, interestingly enough, with a section written in first person from the villain's point of view. These first person sections are interspersed throughout the novel, and they make for a fun "which character is the villain?" guessing game. The rest of the novel is in third person from the perspectives of six characters: Rick, the man who hires a PI firm to help him find his missing Army buddy; Heather, the PI assigned to his case; Jackson, the missing Army buddy; Brad, a prominent St. Louis businessman with his eye on the governor's mansion; Lindsey, Brad's wife; and Ellen, Brad's former co-worker and ex-lover. At first, their stories don't seem to overlap, but it rapidly becomes clear just how all these characters fit together.

The action moves quickly, as does the romance between Rick and Heather ... and, though I often complain about a romance that heats up in a short amount of time as feeling inauthentic, I absolutely believed that Rick and Heather could fall for each other in the two-ish weeks of their acquaintance; also, it felt like their attraction was based on much more than appearance, which I appreciated. The one place were the book didn't quite ring true was in the epilogue, where Rick and Heather have a conversation that is a lot of exposition to catch the reader up on everything that happened after the story's climax, and it didn't feel like a real conversation a couple who lived through it all would have with each other. But that's just a minor quibble (though it sticks in my mind as it was the last thing I read)—this book is excellent!

Dark Ambitions is a quick read—because once you start, everything happens fast and furious, and you don't want to put the book down! Fans of romantic suspense will find much to enjoy here. 4-1/2 stars.

Buy the book. (Amazon affiliate link)
Read my review of Hannon's Hidden Peril (5 stars) and her Hope Harbor romances Hope Harbor (4-1/2 stars), Sea Rose Lane (4 stars), Pelican Point (4-1/2 stars), and Driftwood Bay (4-1/2 stars).

Irene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than fifty novels, including One Perfect Spring, Hope Harbor, Sea Rose Lane, Sandpiper Cove, and Pelican Point, as well as Dangerous Illusions and the Private Justice and Men of Valor suspense series. Her books have been honored with three coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, and she is a member of that organization's elite Hall of Fame. Her many other awards include National Readers' Choice, Daphne du Maurier, Retailers' Choice, Booksellers' Best, Carols, and Reviewers' Choice from RT Book Reviews magazine, which also honored her with a Career Achievement award for her entire body of work. In addition, she is a two-time Christy Award finalist. Learn more at

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell through the Revell Reads program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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