Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Book Review - Critical Threat (Extreme Measures #3) by Lynette Eason


In Critical Threat by Lynette Eason, an FBI agent will need to team up with the son of a serial killer to stop the recent string of murders. FBI Special Agent Grace Billingsley is a psychiatrist and behavioral analyst who focuses on tracking serial killers and getting them off the streets. Sam Monroe is a prison psychiatrist who works with violent criminals on a daily basis. He knows that just because someone is in prison doesn’t mean that person isn’t a threat anymore. Sam’s father, Peter, is a notorious serial killer who is serving multiple life sentences in prison. Even while behind bars, Peter is still actively trying to get involved in Sam’s life. However, Sam wants nothing to do with his father and wishes that he can rid himself of Peter.

When a rash of dead bodies start to show up with a similar M.O. to Peter’s, Sam and Grace are asked to consult on the case together. Grace is hesitant to work with Sam because they have met before and things didn’t work out. They went on a date after meeting at a conference and Grace thought they hit it off, except Sam ghosted her after the date. Grace tries to put her feelings aside as they work together but she can’t help but feel that there is something between the two of them.

This book is the third book in the series but can be read as standalone. I read the first book in the series and a few of the characters from the earlier works make an appearance in this book, but they are minor characters and the reader does not need to know their backstory. I thought the book was an okay read. The mastermind was an unexpected twist but a few of the other twists were predictable. I do like that the book has a lot of action and thrills to keep the reader guessing.

Like the first book, I also didn’t really care for the characters in this book. I felt that the characters were one dimensional and wooden. The interaction between the two protagonists felt dull and forced. I felt like there wasn’t any chemistry between all the characters. There wasn’t a single character that I found believable or likable. The drama with Sam and his ex-wife was cliché. Grace and her family also deal with their own familial issues that I felt like didn’t add much to the story. I felt that while the author woven these family dramas to give readers a glimpse into Sam’s and Grace’s lives to help readers build an understanding about them, I could have done without these details. Even the interaction with minor characters didn’t seem plausible. I find it hard to believe a teenage boy who doesn’t want to hang out with his younger sister and calls her a munchkin, then has intellectual conversations about how isolated and afraid his sister might feel (without prompting!).

I also didn’t like that Grace continuously kept putting herself in danger because she assumed that backup was right behind her. I also don’t understand how the killer managed to get her so many times. I do commend her bravery but, after the first three times of her being captured and then needing to be saved, it got boring and repetitive.

 **Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion** 

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