Monday, April 6, 2015

Kansas City Cover-Up - Julie Miller (HI #1559 - Apr 2015)

Series: Precinct: Cold Case (Book 1)

Political intrigue, an undercover investigation and a very mutual attraction

As the Kansas City Police Department's archenemy, reporter Gabriel Knight never expected to need its help. But the sexy journalist suspects the death of a politician's aide will shed light on the long-unsolved murder of his fiancée. He demands to team up with tough, beautiful detective Olivia Watson. Sharing a mutual distrust -- and a disturbingly mutual attraction -- Gabe and Olivia discover that someone's working hard to keep old secrets buried and stop their investigation dead. But as they come closer to the truth they edge closer to each other. Until now, neither has had room in their lives -- or hearts -- for a relationship. Yet all that could change…if Gabe can prevent them from becoming tomorrow's headline.

Fantastic book. In previous books, Gabe has been the outspoken reporter who never has anything good to say about the KCPD. I've often wondered what his problem is with them, and in this book we finally get a chance to find out. Olivia and her partner from the Cold Case division have been called to the site of a murder. She isn't sure why, until she encounters Gabe, who insists that this case has a connection to the unsolved murder of his fiancée six years ago.

I loved the initial meeting between Olivia and Gabe. He has managed to get past the police line into the crime scene and Olivia is the one who confronts him. She escorts him out, but then goes after him again when she realizes that he sneaked back inside. I loved the way she cuffed him to get him out, making him realize that he wasn't going to get his way this time. He is determined to make her see his point about the connection between the two cases. The action started when Olivia discovered someone hiding and went after him, with Gabe hot on her heels. By the time it's over, the bad guy has gotten away, Gabe is hurt and Olivia feels compelled to be the one to get him to the hospital. Besides the initial animosity between them because of who they are, there is also a flare of unwelcome attraction between them.

Gabe has spent the last six years mourning his fiancée and feeling guilty about her death. He blames himself for not seeing the danger she was in until it was too late. He is also angry at KCPD for their lack of progress in finding her killer, and has taken out that anger by writing unflattering stories about them. He doesn't expect to be attracted to Olivia, as his feelings have been shut down since Dani's death. I loved seeing him get protective around her, even as he learns to respect her abilities. Her nickname for him was fun as they developed their working relationship and a tentative personal one. As they get closer to a resolution Gabe starts to let go of his grief and open himself up to a new love.

Olivia is relatively new to the Cold Case team. She transferred there after her personal and professional relationship with her previous partner ended badly. She has some issues with being able to trust men and her judgment about them because of it. She doesn't know who Gabe is when she first meets him, but she is very attracted to him. However, that doesn't stop her from confronting him and making him follow the rules. When she hears his story, she feels compassion for his loss, but she isn't going to let him bully her either. As they work together she is surprised to find that it is easy for her to trust him and the things she is starting to feel for him. I loved seeing her stand up to him when she needed to, but also understand why he acted as he did.

The suspense of the story was great. I was sucked in from the beginning and didn't put the book down until I finished it. I really liked the way that Olivia didn't hold Gabe's attitude against him when it came to reopening the case of his fiancée's murder. I loved seeing how the team worked through the investigation, following up on the various leads. The intensity builds as each lead that Gabe and Olivia follow puts them in more danger. The scene at the warehouse had me riveted as I wondered how they were going to get out of it. There was also the question of who was in the background, pulling the strings, and what his motivations were. While the murderer is caught, there are still unresolved questions about the people Dani was investigating.

One of the fun things in the book is the relationship Olivia has with her family. As the youngest and only girl in the family of KCPD members, she often finds herself on the receiving end of overprotective family members. But dealing with them has also given her the ability to deal with fellow cops and that carries over into her dealings with Gabe. With the adversarial relationship between Gabe and the KCPD, her family was pretty blunt in their feelings about them working together. However, it was nice to see that both sides could bend a little, as shown in the invitation Olvia's dad extends to Gabe at the end. Hopefully there will be stories for Olivia's brothers, as they seem to be prime targets for strong women of their own.

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