Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hidden Steel-Doranna Durgin

Hidden Steel
Doranna Durgin
Five Star, Jul 2008, $25.95
ISBN: 9781594146817

As she awakens she suffers from amnesias even as she realizes she is handcuffed to what looks like a hospital bed; when she overhears a man and woman discuss her they mention Mickey so she assumes that is her name, but soon realize they are talking about a Mickey Finn. She persuades the man, a doctor to let her go to the bathroom, but uses the handcuff the doctor opened to knock him out. “Mickey” escapes.

Mickey makes it to a San Jose gym run by Steve Spaneas. Mickey shows skills with her hands and a knife that makes Steve wonder who she is especially when fancy cars patrol the mean streets. Mickey begins to regain her memory and worries about some young female named Naia, who she does not remember is a Stanford foreign student and daughter or President Sayid Mejjati of Ishaddani, who wonders what happened to her CIA contact. As she tries to recall who she and Naia are, the CIA seeks her out as does the doctor and the woman who abducted and juiced her with a drug that wiped out her memory while finding herself attracted to Steve; a desire that makes her leave to keep him and his inner city gym rats safe.

HIDDEN STEEL is an engaging thriller that grips the audience from the moment the amnesiac wakes up as a prisoner and never slows down as she regains part of her memory. Mickey is terrific as instinctively she knows how to fight while Steve is divided about her; he knows she brings danger to his gym, but wants her safe. Readers will enjoy this entertaining international espionage thriller as the attraction between the lead couple stays in the backdrop while Mickey struggles to survive and do whatever is right for Naia, whoever she is.

Harriet Klausner