Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Cradle Conspiracy - Robin Perini (HI #1465 - Dec 2013)

CIA agent Daniel Adams, once a prisoner of war, is a loner out of necessity. But rescuing an amnesiac woman left buried alive bonds them in ways neither can resist. All "Raven" knows is that her baby is in danger. All Daniel can focus on is finding the missing child -- and protecting Raven every step of the way.

Her memories are lost and his are scarred from the damages of war. But as they depend on each other for survival in the rugged west Texas mountains, the pieces of their broken pasts start to come together. Now all they have is the risky hope of a future together as they confront the threat that can destroy them both.

Very good book that kept me riveted from the first page. Both Daniel and Raven have issues stemming from their pasts. Daniel is trying to get his life back on track after recovering from two months of captivity and torture.  He still can't stand enclosed spaces so he has been hiking from the east coast to Carder, Texas, where his job is.  Along the way he was adopted by a dog who travels with him.  While near the town of Trouble the dog discovers a woman buried alive in a mine.  When Daniel rescues her he discovers she has no memory except for visions of a baby in danger.  After attempts are made on her life Daniel is determined to protect her and find the missing child. 

Raven is terrified when she regains consciousness trapped in a rolled up carpet in a mine.  Her relief at being rescued by Daniel is tempered by the fact that she can't remember her name or anything else about herself.  When someone attempts to kill her while she's in the local clinic Daniel makes it his mission to keep her safe.  Raven can't remember anything of her past but she's wearing a locket with a picture that she feels is that of her baby, who she feels is in terrible danger.  She feels safe with Daniel, even after they are attacked again.  She is also attracted to him even after he tries to tell her that she can't depend on being safe with him.  She can see the pain he is in and wants to help him through it.  I loved the way that she could see what a good man he really was.  She was also very attracted to him, an attraction that grew deeper the more she learned about him.  I loved the way that she had the inner strength to do whatever had to be done to find her daughter even though it was dangerous.  He feelings for Daniel gave her the ability to trust that he would be able to keep her safe.

Daniel is suffering badly from PTSD because of his captivity and torture.  He doesn't trust himself to be around people, especially his mom and sisters.  His father had also had the same issues and was abusive because of it until he killed himself.  Daniel fears being the same way.  He still has terrible nightmares and flashbacks.  When his dog discovers Raven back in the mine Daniel has to fight those flashbacks to go in and get her.  As messed up as he feels he is, he is determined to keep her safe and help her find her child.  He tries to keep his distance physically and emotionally, but discovers that Raven's presence soothes some of his fears.  I loved his tenderness with her and how much she came to mean to him.  I also liked the way that he was able to call on his friends for their help to protect her and solve the mystery.  They were also determined to help him conquer his own demons.  I loved the ending with the way their lives worked out.

The mystery itself was pretty intense.  The person who had Raven's daughter was pretty creepy in her whole attitude.  She got to be downright scary with the craziness she was showing by the end.  The man who was trying to kill Raven was a real sociopath.  His actions and his connection to the woman made the danger even more intense.  

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