Saturday, December 11, 2021

Review: "Lights Out" by Natalie Walters

After reading Lights Out, I have just one question: When can I get my hands on book two???

CIA analyst Brynn Taylor developed a new program to combat terrorism, and she invited members of foreign intelligence agencies to America to foster cooperation between countries. Now one of them, Egyptian spy Remon Riad, is missing.

Jack Hudson has been working for the Strategic Neutralization and Protection Agency (SNAP) for almost nine years and takes the lead in hunting down the missing spy. But he isn't at all pleased to find out Brynn is involved. It's hard to trust a woman who's already betrayed you.

Every lead they follow draws them dangerously deeper into an international plot. Kidnapping, murder, explosions, poisoning--the terrorists will do anything to accomplish their goal of causing a digital blackout that will blind a strategic US military communications center and throw the world into chaos.

Can Brynn surrender control to a man who doesn't trust her? And can Jack ever get over what she did to him? The fate of the world--and their hearts--hangs in the balance.

As a reader, I love witnessing authors improve at their craft. I read two of the three books in Natalie Walters' debut Harbored Secrets series, and while I enjoyed the books, I had some criticisms about certain things that kept me from really loving the novels. So I was pleasantly surprised - and really happy - to find that the thing I struggled with the most in Walters' other novels, keeping track of all the characters, was not a factor in Lights Out. At all. 

Lights Out centers around CIA analyst Brynn, who finds herself working with the Strategic Neutralization and Protection Agency (SNAP) - and her ex-boyfriend Jack - when an Egyptian spy who had been attending a counter-terrorism seminar she put together disappears. The plot gets complicated quickly, with characters appearing in Egypt, Texas, and Georgia, in addition to the main setting of the Washington, DC area. But despite the plot's complexities, I had no trouble following the action or remembering who was who.

The book reminded me of a CBS procedural in the vein of one of the NCISs (probably LA or Hawai'i, as they feel less serious than the original), and as someone who loves shows like that, I was immediately drawn into this setup. To me, the terrorism plot felt secondary to the characters and the introduction into their world, and that was fine by me - the SNAP team was the best part of the novel. What a great group of characters! I would happily read a dozen novels featuring this team.

The novel has romance, suspense, comedy, and repeated references to some great movies (I'm always on board with an Independence Day shout-out). It's such a fun read, and I can't wait to get my hands on the next book in the series! 5 stars.

Buy the book (Amazon ad).

Read my reviews of Walters' Living Lies (4 stars) and Silent Shadows (4-1/2 stars).

Natalie Walters is the author of Carol Award finalist Living Lies, as well as Deadly Deceit and Silent Shadows. A military wife, she currently resides in Texas with her soldier husband and is a proud mom of three adult kiddos. Natalie comes from a long line of military and law enforcement veterans and is passionate about supporting them through volunteer work, races, and writing stories that affirm no one is defined by their past. 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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