Today RT’s Morgan and Whitney Dish about Rick Mofina’s latest suspense The Burning Edge. Investigative reporter Jack Gannon knows he has a good nose for stories, but with his new executive editor pressuring him, will he be able to connect the dots between a terrorist threat and a vicious roadside slaying before it’s too late?
Whitney: Now you know that I don’t normally venture into what I consider “boy book” territory — and without a romance in sight this is definitely that type of story — but I have to say, I really loved the book!
Morgan: I knew that you were going to like Jack Gannon. This is the third book I have read in Rick Mofina’s series and they are always a fast-paced reads with amazing characterization and terrific plotting.
Whitney: Jack’s particularly excellent. Mofina does a great job of bringing his hero to life as a multifaceted man who is able to express his frustrations with his job, with his ex, with his shifty-seeming sources.
Morgan: And he does this all without ever taking away from the action of the story.
Whitney: I could totally see this on the big screen! The thoughtful, yet determined hero, the hard working mom, the band of —
Morgan: Hey, lets slow it down for a second. The story doesn’t really start with Jack, it starts with Lisa Palmer.
Whitney: She’s a widowed mom of two little boys, who ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Morgan: I have to agree with that. Lisa is caught in the middle of a robbery when she stops at a gas station. She not only witnesses armored car drivers getting shot, but she has a front row seat to the execution of a plain clothes FBI agent who is also in the crowd.
Whitney: One of the bad guys is just about to shoot Lisa, but she starts talking about her kids and then the killer gets called back to the group.
Morgan: It’s a nick of time thing ...
Whitney: You know, this is actually what you are supposed to do if someone puts a gun to you. You have to humanize yourself, tell them about your family, your kids and get them to see you as a person. I saw on Gray’s Anatomy that it’s something Oprah suggests.
Morgan: Well, whether or not that’s the truth, it certainly worked in Lisa’s case. Or at least, it saves her life.
Whitney: But it plunges her into the middle of a mystery that has far-reaching ties.
Morgan: I like that the bad guys aren’t your average killers; they are a group of ex-soldiers on a mission.
Whitney: And if the story were written from a slightly different slant, they could have — maybe — been heroes.
Morgan: Well, they were heroes once, before everything went wrong.
Whitney: You know the line for me is when they start killing other people, Americans. You can’t be a hero and kill or rob.
Morgan: And that’s certainly what happens here. For what I would call a pretty good reason, they end up going on a bonafide killing spree.
Whitney: But while they are wreaking havoc, it’s investigative reporter Jack who is determined to get to the bottom of what is going on.
Morgan: The author does a great job of making me feel like I am in the moment with Jack and the story he is reporting.
Whitney: Mofina really focuses on keeping readers updated on Jack’s newspaper story — whether he is scooping his competition, or having witnesses add to the tale — to keep the plot moving forward quickly.
Morgan: Agreed, I really felt like I was living the reporter lifestyle which I think can be attributed to the author’s own time as a reporter. Through Jack’s eyes we get it all. The rush of hearing breaking news first, finding sources willing to talk, balancing the need to get the story while still being respectful to those involved ...
Whitney: I didn’t know that Mofina had been a reporter, but that makes a lot of sense. His style of writing is very clear, very factual. Like you are reading a great expo on what is happening around his characters.
Morgan: And in this case it just happens to be a murder of a young FBI agent and the threat against Lisa, the witness.
Whitney: I believe readers (like me) that don’t normally give a straight suspense a go will really enjoy this story.
Morgan: Absolutely. And while they are at it, I also suggest an earlier book in Mofina’s series In Desperation, which is an RT nominee for 2011’s Best Suspense/Thriller. It has the same type of fast-moving plot but a bit more personal story, so readers can really get to know Jack Gannon the man.
Let us know what you think of suspense stories, Jack Gannon and reporter heroes in the comments below. And be sure to check back next week when RT’s Elissa stops by for a special guest Dish on Julie Anne Long’s latest historical romance, How the Marquess Was Won.