Suzanne Brockmann’s Into the Storm is the tenth book in her Troubleshooters series and the most recent paperback. It jumped the queue thanks to Oracne’s LiveJournal post discussing its treatment of race and gender.
As much as I appreciated the existence of Lindsey, a main character of Japanese descent who hates being stereotyped, I thought her big speech on the topic had distracting “This Is A Message” signs flashing all over it. But then, this is a known issue; I had the same reaction to a big speech against homophobia in Hot Target. I certainly agree with Brockmann and don’t doubt her sincerity, I just find these little speeches jarring. They do, however, pass quickly.
My larger problem with this book was Lindsey’s emotional problems, which drive the relationship-related plot. (A serial killer drives the suspense-related plot.) They come up so fast and with such little buildup, that at first I thought the other main character, Mark, was being an overly-confident jerk for telling her that she had such problems. Nope, not the case. And it bugged me a bit that the conflicts weren’t more balanced, that there wasn’t more focusing on Mark.
But I like Lindsey and Mark, so the relationship-related plot isn’t a total loss. And the serial killer plot is creepy and effective, if perhaps slightly over-the-top, and does a nice job of developing a new character and expanding an existing supporting character. Post-vacation, I’ve been looking for fairly light yet absorbing books, and even with my quibbles, this fit the bill well.