cover image Force of Nature

Force of Nature

Suzanne Brockmann, . . Ballantine, $21.95 (384pp) ISBN 978-0-345-48016-3

Ex-cop Ric Alvarado, after receiving word that Florida mobster Gordon Burns may be working with international terrorists, manages to gain access to Burns's inner circle in prolific bestseller Brockmann's enjoyable 11th Troubleshooters thriller (after 2006's Into the Storm ). Alvarado's feat brings him to the attention of Jules Cassidy, a maverick FBI agent and counterterrorism expert derided by fellow agents for being gay. The message of tolerance and the personal issues—Cassidy's relationship with closeted Hollywood leading man Robin Chadwick; Alvarado's crush on his attractive assistant, Annie Dugan; Cassidy's determined struggle for acceptance and recognition—at times interfere with the terrorist plot in the mix of undercover police work and romance, but romantic suspense fans should be well satisfied. (Aug.)