“Final Finesse” by Karna Small Bodman

 

Genre: Romantic Thriller

 

Rating: 3.5 WaterTowers

This is an Advanced Reading Copy sent to me by Karna Small Bodman.  The book will be in stores in May 2009.  

Samatha Reid works in the White House as part of Homeland Security.  Her boss, Greg Barnes, relies on Samantha for “talking points” when he goes in front of the news media.  As is the case in real life (sadly), Greg also takes credit for Samatha’s ideas.  Nice guy. 😉

A massive winter storm covers the midwest to the east coast.  At the peak of the storm, an explosion on a major natural gas line, run by GeoGlobal, stops natural gas delivery to many thousands of people in the midwest.   The damage is so extensive it could take weeks to fix.  Even though many people are evacuated to areas with heat,  some people, unfortunately, die from exposure.

Although bad maintenence is suspected, Samantha’s ears perk up. She has grown up in an oil family and knows that pipelines just don’t explode, and, there were previous terrorist gas line explosions in Mexico.  Her instincts tell her that this explosion might be the result of terrorist actions. But she is not sure…..yet.

When a second explosion occurs, Samantha’s suspicions are verified and she moves to put together a team to find the cause.  Unfortunately, her boss turns a deaf ear to her thoughts thus forcing Samantha to make the initial moves to solve this on her own.

One of the first tasks she needs to accomplish is to meet with a representative of GeoGlobal. When he arrives, Samantha’s assistant announces his arrival and that his name is “Hamilton Bainbridge Adams the Third”.

As luck may have it, Samantha knows “Tripp” Adams from her days at Princeton where he was the handsome, desirable, Senior and she was the completely unknown and ignored Freshman.  (Sounds familiar, right, Linda Palmer?).

Times have changed….and the chemistry is immediate and hot (thus the “romantic thriller” genre designation by me).

As gas and oil prices soar in the U.S…….developments in Venezuela bring the focus there. The perpetrators of the gas line explosions, Carlos and Simon, are being controlled by “The Fixer” (who is the second in command to the Venezuelan El Presidente). With the increase in gas and oil prices, Venezuelan banks accounts are swelling and, with an election coming up, the re-election of El Presidente is almost a sure thing.  Almost.

Meanwhile, the Venezuelans are planning to take over GeoGlobal’s assets and Tripp is sent down to negotiate to keep that from happening.  The instant he gets there…..he is kidnapped.

With more explosions rocking the U.S. gas lines (it turns out “pigs” are being used), turmoil in the White House, and stifling bureaucracy, Samantha’s world is spinning out of control and she once again has to take matters into her own hands.  

From this point on, “Final Finesse” takes the reader on a rocking thriller filled with intrigue, suspense, and vivid descriptions of the Caracas, Venezuela area including the teleferico (cable car) ride up Mt. Avila (see the picture below)

Is Tripp saved from the kidnappers? Will more explosions bring the U.S. economy to a standstill? Can the terrorists be stopped?

You will have to read “Final Finesse” to find out. 🙂

This is the first book I have read from Karna Small Bodman who at one time was a Bay Area (KRON) news anchor (I live in Tracy, CA) and a White House employee. The descriptions of the White House politics (good or bad) definitely seem to ring true.

I am looking forward to reading the other books written by Karna Small Bodman, as “Final Finesse” was a terrific read.

4 comments

  1. To answer the question, will my 4th novel, CASTLE BRAVO, have the same characters — the answer is YES. I’m working on it now (in addition to marketing plans/book tour speeches for FINAL FINESSE in the DC area). Thanks for asking…..Karna

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