Agent in Old Lace is the third novel by Tristi Pinkston, and is the best LDS/thriller/romance I’ve ever read.
You go girl!!!
Although I’ve only read two LDS/thriller/romance’s (who even knew it was a genre???), this one surpassed my expectations. It’s short length being the only disappointment—but I’ve heard that publishers are brutal toward longer novels these days. However, I strongly believe that books this good should be twice as long.
Here’s the skinny:
Shannon is a successful (single) businesswoman. She lives in the Utah Valley, as do her parents, but they aren’t natives of the area. After her father’s heart attack and lingering (and undiagnosed) illness, Shannon temporarily moves back home.
Glenn (Dad) has a wonderful and caring doctor, but neither he nor any of the specialists seem to be able to figure out what’s causing his symptoms. He comes to terms with the idea that he will die.
Mark works for an investment company that has invested money for Glenn. He’s done a marvelous job of it, and in the meantime, he and Shannon hit it off. She hopes he’s going to propose. But that’s only because she doesn’t know he’s also embezzling money on the side.
Mark wants to marry Shannon. He does. But she gets cold feet after he kidnaps her at gunpoint. It’s a scary ride up the mountain with him trying to convince Shannon that her only chance of living is to be his bride. While I read this part, I keep urging her to jump out of the vehicle—which she finally does. Luckily she lives through that ordeal—but things don’t get immediately better.
Mark hasn’t given up. The mountains around Salt Lake City are beautiful (think of thick trees and undergrowth), and Shannon is able to make her way down the hill without him catching her. He does try though, and in a thriller you never know who you can trust.
(I’m leaving out a lot here so as not to give away any tense moments.) Mark ends up in jail, and it’s time for his court date, but half way through the trial, he breaks free—and now he wants revenge. (It’s a living nightmare.)
The FBI takes over the case and at the last minute sends a guy to do a girl’s job. Now agent Rick has to dress up like Shannon’s Aunt Anita in order to give Shannon the round-the-clock protection she needs. Here’s where the romance comes in—stalkers and maniacs are seldom apprehended quickly—unfortunately for their victims. And while agent Rick busies himself saving Shannon’s life at every turn and being there during her emotional breakdowns, they grow quite fond of one another.
Shannon and agent Rick deal with rocks thrown through windows—acts of vandalism—and stalking. But when Mark kidnaps Tate (Shannon’s best friend), Shannon realizes that in order to save her friend, she’s got to offer herself up as bait.
I am waiting and hoping that Tristi writes another book soon. In the meantime, this is definately worth a second read.