Review: No Good Deed by Allison Brennan

No Good Deed by Allison Brennan is the tenth Lucy Kincaid novel, where the FBI agent must stop a corrupt former DEA agent who is out for revenge.

Allison Brennan’s tenth Lucy Kincaid novel, No Good Deed, starts out with a bang—well, machine-gun fire. Well, a villainy internal monologue and then machine-gun fire. Followed by an explosion. As one does. 

FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid is hot on the trail of corrupt former DEA Agent Nicole Rollins, recently escaped from her prison transport in the above-mentioned blaze of glory. A church school bus full of children and one active bomb provide the perfect distraction for her getaway. Kincaid suspects bombing and body count are a smoke screen for a far more sinister plot. When a former FBI agent with ties to a previous case is murdered and Kincaid’s fiancé’s brother vanishes, Lucy is more certain than ever that Rollins is gunning for her.

No Good Day was my introduction to Brennan’s series, and while I’m usually apprehensive to start books in the middle of the run, the premise of a super-smart killer lady out for revenge was invariably tempting. Rollins falls into that cliché smarter-than-the-hero speech pattern, but despite that, the opening sequence reads like something out of an action film. In order to aid her escape, Rollins’s men create an obstruction to halt her transport, then open fire. 

“One of the two masked men climbed up the front of the truck, through the broken glass, and extracted keys from one of the dead guards.

“You’ll never get away with this,” the smart guard told Nicole. “They’ll hunt you down like a rabid dog.”

She didn’t say a word, just stared at him.

He turned his gun on her. “I die, you die.”

“And then all those children die,” she whispered.

His face fell. She smiled. Just a small smile, but her excitement was growing and she couldn’t contain her glee.

Sirens roared from seemingly every direction, coming closer.

“Open the door,” Nicole said.

The armored van had to be unlocked from the outside, but opened from the inside. Her team could get in because they had the right tools, but it would take longer.

Time was critical.

“Officer, if you do not open the door in ten seconds, my people will start killing those children, one by one, until you do.”

“Don’t do it, Isaac,” the second guard said.

“Seven seconds. I’m not bluffing.”

The smart guard, Isaac, was torn. She saw it in his eyes. This was the type of dilemma they’d been trained for, even “when the threat was rare. Did you let a prisoner go to save innocent lives? It was a fair trade, as far as Nicole was concerned. But in training, you never gave in to terrorists. In the textbooks, there were hard-and-fast rules. All criminals were terrorists. Do not negotiate. Wait for the hostage rescue team.

“Four seconds.”

Isaac glanced out the front and saw a gunman emerge from the bus holding a child in front of him.

Children … that was a wild card. You could train for it, but until you were in a situation with the barrel of a gun at the back of a child’s head, you really didn’t know what you would do.

Isaac got up and turned the knob. The click told her it was open.

“Put the gun down and you’ll be spared,” she said.

“Don’t do it! They’ll kill us both!”

She looked Isaac in the eye. “I’m not lying.”

The door opened and Isaac put his gun down and his hands up.

The other guard didn’t. He didn’t get a shot off before a bullet pierced his skull.

One of the masked men quickly unlocked Nicole’s shackles. She picked up the gun that Isaac had dropped. “No one may believe it, Isaac, but sleep well because you will save those kids.”

“Will?” he said through clenched teeth.

“Time?” she asked one of her men.

“Eight fifty-four and thirty seconds. Thirty-one, thirty-two—”

Nicole cut him off and turned back to Isaac. “You have five minutes, twenty-ish seconds to get those kids off the bus before the bomb goes off. And if you are wondering, there really is a bomb. It will explode at nine a.m.”

Gotta love a lady who has a plan and a distinct lack of remorse. And the death toll in this book is high. If you love action-packed crime thrillers with a dash of romance, this series might just be up your alley.

I did find a few hangups. Though I picked up the action no problem (the book can read as a standalone for the most part), there were a lot of repetitive scenes and secondary characters who didn’t serve as an essential part of the plot. Maybe this is a disconnect because I came in mid-series. Without the benefit of knowing who all the players were already, it may have affected my enjoyment. I also sensed a weird co-dependency between Lucy and Sean, but again, could just be me.

The addition of a second antagonist and Lucy’s family dynamic were interesting layers to the overall concept of the story. It pulled a few punches I wasn’t expecting. Overall, the plot wrapped up neatly and it was a thrilling read.

Listen to an excerpt from No Good Deed!

 

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Meghan Harker grew up in a small, awkwardly-named town in Georgia. She attended Brenau University, where she earned her BA in English and a minor in Graphic Design; she also attended the University of Cambridge, England, where she didn't quite master the perfect Oxbridge accent. She's an avid reader, writer, and fire spinner. She's currently working her first novel, a paranormal thriller. Visit her blog at ExquisitelyOdd.com.

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