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"Deception's Guard" by Jacqueline Randolph

"Deception's Guard" by Jacqueline Randolph

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5 of 5 Stars! by Glenda Bixler; Tuesday 12 May, 2009

Those who remember and enjoyed the original series for­Mission Impossible will certainly welcome Deception's Fury,­by Jacqueline G. Randolph. In fact, you will see that this­story would have made a great script for that popular show.­Fury is an exciting adventure that reveals a world known by­few-a world where undercover Americans fight as part of the­Drug Enforcement Agency to protect our citizens, demanding­of themselves a commitment and loyalty to their mission that­can only serve to inspire and amaze us. While this story may­be fiction, it, nonetheless, elicits a response-a thankful,­prayerful elation that there are those among our fellow­Americans who work to serve and protect our United­States.

But, wait! Before you read further, let me tell­you that you will want to start right from the beginning of­this series. Check out my review of Deception's Guard­because I believe you'll want to read about the great love­affair and the dangerous adventures of the two main­characters before you are submerged into the Fury of the­greatest challenge to that love in Randolph's second­book!

Yes, Deception's Fury continues the story of the­love affair between Rhys and Skye Wielde. Skye has moved­from her position as a Drug Enforcement Agent into an­advisory position and has become Rhys' wife and the mother­of three beautiful children--a set of twins, and later a­young son. She is also a part-time professor and has­established a local air charter business, sometimes working­as one of the pilots. Rhys is head of Genoreach Technologies­which is dedicated to research and development of­bioinformatic technologies-the mating of biology and­information systems. A major deception at Genoreach had­originally brought Rhys and Skye together (See Deception's­Guard) and nearly ten years of wedded bliss have­passed.

Until the day that messages were intercepted.­Information that referred to their youngest son, who was­called "Wolf", had been discovered on the­Internet. There are also references to Omega, the drug that­had been created at Genoreach and had been found to be­deadly. Had the drug not totally been stopped? Or had other­scientists duplicated the process? And what did it mean to­have the involved ship, the ship that was known to transport­drugs, have the same name as their son, with a captain who­was called "Wolf"?

Skye, with her DEA­background, extensive knowledge of the earlier mission, as­well as having a pilot's license, is asked to participate­actively once again. Declaring that she would act only as­pilot to other DEA operatives, Rhys agrees to her­involvement with the caveat specifying that, if she were not­back in a month, he would come looking for her. But a month­goes by and Skye is not home. Not only does Rhys begin plans­to track her down, but her boss contacts him and asks him to­become involved and work with the DEA. For they had received­word that three agents were found dead. Skye is­missing.

Soon it is discovered that Skye is alive and­held captive although she has been beaten and is near death.­A local woman who is an undercover agent has been able to­convince the assigned guards that a doctor's visit is­needed. Skye is known to be a master of disguises but now it­is Rhys' turn and he is disguised as an elderly doctor by­night while by day he holds a position as an embassy aide.­The old woman meets Rhys, as the doctor, and brings him to­Skye. She has been beaten and bruised over her entire body,­chunks of her neck and face are gone-eaten by rats. She is­covered and smells of her own excrement. The horror of­seeing her is almost too much for Rhys to bear. But little­by little, he is convinced that his wife recognizes him and­is able to respond to help his efforts to save her.

Once­Skye is saved and well enough to act on her own, she is once­again driven and, against her husband's wishes to go home,­is relentless in her determination to finish the mission.­Reluctantly, Rhys agrees to stay and help the team find the­ship transporting the drugs. The trail takes them to­Ecuador, Buenos Aries, and finally to the Antarctica, the­coldest most uninhabitable place on earth. There, putting­together all of the pieces of information she has gathered,­Skye locates the ship, the ship which some claim to be a­ghost ship because of its mysterious appearances and­disappearances.

But there is talk among the DEA team and­bosses of Skye's sanity . . . of her becoming a rogue agent.­Skye knows that in addition to her assigned mission, she has­a personal need-to seek revenge on the murderer of her­former DEA partner-and she doesn't mind questions about her­sanity as long as she is able to fulfill that quest as well­as find the ship. Rhys is there when she finds the location­and is the only witness to a major shift from team plans,­which support the possibility she is indeed a traitor. He is­forced to believe that Skye is no longer the woman that he­has known and loved. Can he allow his wife to return and­care for his children? He will always love her, but his­trust has been almost destroyed. Can their marriage be­saved?

Deception's Fury is indeed a love story, but that­story is just a major underlying theme. The character of­Skye is a major force, an individual who, in disguise,­easily becomes a person who moves through the underworld of­drugs and prostitution--with its many dangers--to overhear,­discover and piece together where her target can be found­and how to get to it. Needless to say, the suspense and­intrigue is heavy; the methods and actions of the team and­undercover agents are Frightening. What they must do to stay­alive can only be considered monstrous and yet a very­necessary part of survival. With a surprise ending, readers­are kept in suspense right to the ending!

Randolph has­outdone many major writers in the creation of her two main­characters and, especially, her female lead. Skye will­become one of your all-time favorite characters!The tone and­scenes bring readers into a distressing world and forces­them to read on until the heroine allows them to leave at­the end of the book. Her writing is superb, the characters­will become your heroes, and you will be searching for the­next book in the series long before it is available. Trust­me! This author is on the move! Watch her! She is a­challenge to J. D. Robb, with her husband/wife team, as well­as many other well-established writers. This is definitely a­MUST-READ!

G. A. Bixler
IP Book Reviewer

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