Review: Cutting Edge by Allison Brennan

Nora English was raised by an anarchist. At a young age she could not only tell you the components to a pipe bomb but she could aptly construct one as well. Lorraine (Nora’s mother) raises her children “off the grid.” Nora is raised without ever going to a doctor, dentist, school and she never had a place to call home.When Lorraine (Nora was never allowed to call her Mom) gave birth to Quin, Nora knew she’d have to raise her baby sister and look out for her. No one else would. When Lorraine ended up with a charismatic psychopath, Nora decided it was time to take action. She turned FBI informant and was able to get her and her sister out of a bad situation. Nora used her inside information and knowledge to become an FBI agent and to put more anarchists behind bars.

Duke Rogan has always felt the need to prove himself. The protection of innocents is almost always one of his top priorities. Duke is a former Marine and even helped his brother Kane fight a war on the drug lords in Central America. He found out the hard way that he wasn’t made out for that line of work. He lost his parents not too long after and raised his teenage brother. Duke is also one of the founders of Rogan-Caruso Security. He takes his job very seriously and doesn’t like knowing that someone got through his security system and killed one of his friends.

Nora and Duke have worked together on a few cases before. Duke wants to get closer to Nora but she’s always kept their relationship work related. Nora doesn’t open herself up to people often and in fact usually looks for ways to help others. Nora is her job. The anarchist group BLF has reached a total of four arson.

They always target companies in the business of bio-technology. In the third arson a security guard was injured and on the latest scene a dead body is discovered. This doesn’t match up with Nora’s knowledge of an anarchist cell. Most anarchists believe in causing no harm to ANY living thing. That includes people that they don’t agree with.

Duke and Nora must work together to try and figure out who is behind the arsons and the murder. The more time that it takes to fit all the pieces together, the higher the body count raises. The killer targets Nora and brings her old cases into the mix. Who from Nora’s past would have the ability to get to her? Who would want vengeance that badly? Nora and Duke must race the clock before the most dear thing in Nora’s life is put in danger.

My Thoughts:
Cutting Edge may be my new favorite Brennan novel. Brennan spins a masterpiece in the last book of the FBI trilogy. I was on edge through most of the book and trying to figure out the who and the why. Often in a Brennan novel the who is figured out fairly early; however, she makes up for this by blowing you away with the connections and motivations. By the end of Cutting Edge, I was telling myself that there are only x amount of pages left, it has to be okay. There will be a happy ending. Logically, I know this but I get so wrapped up in the story, I always find myself gripping the book a little harder hoping that good prevails!

Nora and Duke work well together as a couple. Nora is too afraid to trust anyone but herself and her sister. Duke is a patient man who can wait out any defense Nora throws up. They both feel the attraction between them but Nora is her job and she doesn’t want a complication. Duke stays by her side and does all that he can to help Nora and give back to her. She spends so little time taking care of herself that having someone care for her is a nice change of pace. It’s the little things like having a sandwich ready for her when she needs it but won’t stop to do it for herself that eventually win Nora over. The ending was particularly sweet in this aspect.

I also enjoyed the plot line immensely in this book. Anarchy is something that we’ve been taught to fear but I was never really sure of the meaning. It was great to be educated on something while I had my entertainment as well. I’m sure that not all groups that share these believes act the same way as the characters in this book. That’s why it’s fiction. There were a lot of hot topics including animal testing and genetic engineering which ramped up the intensity of the story.

The FBI trilogy was wrapped up nicely with this book. I cannot wait for Brennan’s next novel which starts off the Lucy Kincaid series! Seriously, I can’t say this enough: Do not miss Cutting Edge if you want a book that will leave you biting your nails with anxiety!

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