Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Review: Velocity by Alan Jacobson

Velocity (Karen Vail, Book 3)
by Alan Jacobson
Release Date: October 5, 2010
2010 Vanguard Press
ISBN: 978-1-59315-621-3
Softcover Edition; 388 Pages
Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Source: Review Copy from Publisher

4 / 5 Stars

Detective Robby Hernandez, Vail's boyfriend, has vanished into the dense air of a Napa Valley evening.  There are no clues to his whereabouts, other than a blood stain and tenuous connections to a vicious serial killer operating in the wine country.

As the task force struggles with Robby's disappearance, the killer challenges Vail by boldly leaving high profile victims in public places.  Is this offender somewho responsible for Robby's disappearance?  Evidence suggest that he is - but just when Vail and the task force begin to make progress, the FBI orders Vail to return to Quantico to handle a case of vital importance.

Back in Washington, Vail engages covert government operative Hector DeSantos to determine what happened to Robby.  It's a move that backfires when DeSantos's confidential informants lead them into unforeseen dangers, forcing Vail to face off against powerful foes unlike any she's ever encountered, threatening her life, her career...and all that she holds dear.

My Thoughts
Velocity was a pulse-pounding ride that did not stop from beginning to end. The novel was full of twists and turns, shocking secrets and truths, government operations, suspense, and thrills. If you are innocent of the drug cartels and some of their inner workings, you won’t be after reading this book, and I found myself really contemplating the infiltration of the drugs into our society and how deep it really is. Mr. Jacobson held no punches when it came to explaining the drug situation along the U.S./Mexico border and how some of the drugs make it into the United States, and explained it in such a way that it was clear, but frightening. I was impressed at his research and at the list of F.B.I . and D.E.A. and other agencies he made use of in order to gather the information for this book.

The plot was interesting, full of detail and description, definitely full of twists and turns, and suspenseful. I would recommend that you read Crush before reading this novel however, as it took me a while to orient myself with the characters and some of the events as this book picks up pretty much where Crush left off and it can be confusing if you don’t know what’s going on. I also found some of the law enforcement lingo confusing as many acronyms were used and I didn’t know what they meant. I understand that Mr. Jacobson was trying to be true to how it really would be like as a law enforcement officer, but to a normal person, some of the language can go right over our heads, and this does take away somewhat from the story.

I enjoyed the characters, but I can’t say that I totally connected with them at all times. I didn’t always understand Karen Vail, although I did admire her sheer guts and determination to find Robby no matter what the cost. There were some things she did that I did not like, but when I put myself in her place, I wondered if I would have acted the same way, desperate. She was thinking as a woman instead of a F.B.I. Agent many times and this often got her in trouble with her superior officer. There were many other interesting characters, but I didn’t really get to know them well because the action was the main part of the story and not character development. I would have loved to have known more about Hector DeSantos as he seemed so interesting. Perhaps in the next book?

Overall, this was a fun, interesting read, with a depth to it that was surprising. I am looking forward to reading more about Karen Vail and her colleagues in the future.


  1. I am SO overdue for a good thriller, and your review really piqued my interest. :-)