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Following a failed mission, Vicki Boyd leaves her job as a psychic spy with the CIA, determined to start her life over in a small town assisting an elderly lady. But when she arrives, she finds that Laurel Maguire has suffered a stroke and is confined to the third floor of her home and her nephew Dylan has recently arrived from Ireland to care for her. Vicki very quickly falls in love with the charming, handsome Irishman. But all is not what it seems in Aunt Laurel’s old, rambling home. And when the CIA arrive on her doorstep to convince her to accept one last mission, she finds her past and her future are about to collide… In murder.
The house overwhelmed the postage stamp sized lot. It was three full stories that, judging from the architecture, had once been a majestic dwelling with its gently curving wrap-around front porch, its imposing columns, and its extra-wide front door. But now the windows were dingy and distorted as they peered at her, flanked on each side by crumbling shutters that swung away from the neglected siding, every now and then swinging back with a resounding thud in the stifling summer breeze.
The driveway was already full. Parked in front of a dangerously slanting garage was a pickup truck with a worn fishing boat sticking out of the bed. Behind that was a delivery truck from which two young men were wrestling a freezer.
“Story of my life,” Vicki said out loud as she sat in her car beside the curb. She could simply transfer her foot from the brake to the gas pedal and keep on moving, a thought that was growing in its appeal.
She stared at the neglected lawn. Unkempt hydrangeas threatened to overtake the raised porch from the ground below. There were as many weeds peeking through the branches as there were flowers. The weeds found their way into every crack and crevice in the mottled sidewalk.
She eased her foot off the brake just as a man who appeared to be around thirty years old exited the house. He wore no shirt; his chest was tanned and even from this distance she could see the glint of perspiration on his skin. He wore jeans and cowboy boots. As the deliverymen approached with the freezer, he directed them into the house with a lilting accent that sounded Irish. He spotted her just as her foot came back down on the brake, waving as though they were old friends.
She rolled down the passenger side window as he approached.
“Ooh,” he said as if he was expecting to plunge off the edge of a cliff, “you’re a bit early yet. And I’m afraid things still look a wee bit dreadful. I thought I’d have the house all fixed up for you by now, I did, but it rained last week and a man can’t paint in the rain.” His voice had a melodious brogue that immediately captured her interest.
“Oh, I’m not meself at all. My apologies. I’m Dylan Maguire.” He reached inside the car and shook her hand.
*takes a deep breath* I don’t think I’ve held my breath that long before and I’m sure my recovery time will be longer since I’ve read Vicki’ Key. Set in North Carolina, the setting couldn’t be more perfect for a suspense/mystery story. Its creepy and it holds a lot of secrets.
What drew me into the book was the heroine was an ex-CIA agent (or was she) that knew when it was times to quit after a mission went horribly wrong. Deciding to take it easy, she finds herself in Lumberton, NC to help a friend. What she gets is a romance, a mystery, someone stalking her and the CIA calling her for one last mission.
Oh my, this book had me almost forgetting to pick my kid up from baseball camp. I love a good romantic suspense/mystery and Ms. Terrell completely delivered. The attention to detail from the setting, characters, research that went in the book and romance was fabulous. I never felt like I was reading a book. I thought I was actually a fly on the wall, watching the action unfold. I don’t think I’ve ever been that immersed in a book before and I can’t wait to do it again. 🙂
The CIA angle reminded me of Tom Clancy and of course, everyone knows my love for Tom Clancy. Ms. Terrell never took the easy way either. There are enough twists, turns and OMG moments that will leave you wanting more. If I had one compliant, it was that the book was over. I’m thrilled to know that this is book #1 in a series and I can’t wait to revisit the swamp again.
BTW, I will be reading p.m. Terrell this summer. I have some of her backlist now and can’t wait to get started. I love a good mystery/suspense. Don’t you? If you are looking for a new author that’s writes a brilliantly paced, thought provoking with just the right amount of OMG moments, look no further. Plus, come on the hero is Irish. *sigh*
p.m.terrell is the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 18 books in 4 genres. A full-time author since 2002, she previously opened and operated two comput
er companies in the Washington, DC area. Her specialties were in the areas of computer crime and computer intelligence and her clients included the Secret Service, CIA and Department of Defense as well as local law enforcement. Computer and spy technology are two themes that recur throughout her books. She is the co-founder of The Book ‘Em Foundation, whose mission is to raise awareness of the link between high illiteracy rates and high crime rates. And she founded the annual Book ‘Em North
Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair which takes place each February.
Author’s website: www.pmterrell.com
Amazon Links: Paperback:
Nook (Barnes and Noble): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/vickis-key-p-m-terrell/1105875534