Thursday, June 9, 2011

Inside-Brenda Novak

Brenda Novak
Mira, Jun 28 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780778329930

Virgil Skinner spent fourteen years in California’s Pelican Bay Maximum Security Prison for a murder he did not commit. While behind bars he joined the ruthless gang The Crew in order to survive. His former gang mates warn Skinner to watch his step outside as they will come after his family if he points a finger at them.

Meanwhile California Department of Corrections needs someone to go inside undercover to penetrate the Hell's Fury gang that runs Pelican Bay and has allegedly killed officials including a judge on the outside. The authorities select Virgil who knows how to act as a convict and has the scars to prove it. Only Deputy Warden Peyton Adams objects, but is overruled. Virgil acquiesces to returning to hell only if his sister and her kids are placed in the witness protection program. As they work together, Peyton and Virgil fall for one another but both understand the mission and the risk.

This Bulletproof suspense novel is an action-packed tale that grips readers throughout the exhilarating story line. The cast is solid especially the lead protagonists. However, the key to what makes this a superb thriller is that the romance is secondary to the undercover prison scenario. Although the concept of a tough guy going undercover in a prison is not new (see Steven Seagal in Half Past Dead), none are as strong as Virgil inside hell with seemingly only administration help.

Harriet Klausner

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