“Targeted” is a tightly paced thriller

“Targeted” is a tightly paced thriller that takes place at a Honduras resort where Canadian tourists, Jordan and Ellie arrive, hoping for peace and relaxation.
The story’s tension starts the minute the girls exit the plane to stand, unknowingly, in the view of a character peeping at them through binoculars. His glance lingers “on the swell of fabric above [Ellie’s] bare midriff”. We know the peeper is up to no good when “the scarlet blossoms shudder” as the binoculars are withdrawn back into the bushes.
On the way to the resort, the girls meet Darcy Piermont, a character I hope we’ll see in a future novel. Darcy is a handsome mishmash of uncouth manner, with a devil-may-care-attitude, who surprises readers with occasional glimpses of gallant capability. He is the first to warn, “Honduras has the highest murder rate per capita in the world. So don’t wander away…”
What happens next, would be a spoiler, but let me say, as you read on, you will consider all those risky choices you made while on vacation. I certainly reflected on the time I wandered alone in the Dominican and found myself lost in a very poor neighborhood where some not so friendly looks were cast my way. Though I was directed back to the areas for “tourist’s eyes” by three tattoo bearing, young men who stood like sentinels on the street, I had the feeling I had brushed against the outer edges of danger.
In the novel, Jordan and Ellie do not take Darcy’s advice and will do more than just brush those fearful realities where human rights are not what we Canadians are privileged to.
This book succeeds in a number of ways. The authors, Warner and Ferris, are obviously well traveled and use description to immerse us in a much-needed island getaway with limbo dancing and boat deck parties in international waters. These fun-loving scenes function as clever juxtaposition to make the threat against the women even more chilling.
Secondly, the two female characters could not be more different, with cool-thinking Jordan wishing she was wearing her service revolver with her bathing suit, and fun-loving, barely-keeping-her-clothes-on, Ellie who is getting her money’s worth from the all-inclusive drinks. The girls have an interesting and amusing dynamic as they work as a team, whether in navigating social pick-ups or attempting to survive criminal highjacks.
“Targeted” is an entertaining book that could easily be read on the journey to your next island vacation, but be warned, you’ll be looking over your shoulder after you’re done.

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