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by Jonathon King
Signet, June 2008
277 pages
ISBN: 0451224205

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

In the fifth Max Freeman novel, Max and his girlfriend Detective Sherry Richards pick the wrong time to go off the grid for a romantic vacation. Determined to make sure that they are not interrupted, they head deep into south Florida without any means of contact with the outside world. This means that nobody can warn them in advance that a large hurricane is about to make landfall.

Max is roughed up and Sherry badly injured, but they both survive… only to discover that the real challenge is just beginning. Unable to call for help, Max must get the pair of them out despite the trees uprooted across roads, the crocodiles and other carnivorous wildlife, and the lack of supplies. And those are just the obstacles nature is throwing in their way. The other humans are going to be much more of a problem.

Edward Harmon is a ruthless, calculating man. He rides out the storm as well as possible, as he is someone who deeply believes in being prepared. Thus, he is prepared to do whatever is necessary to protect his employer's secrets buried deep in the wilds of Florida. While he bears no ill will against any of the other hurricane survivors, his orders are clear and he will carry them out – with extreme prejudice if necessary.

Buck and his gang of teenaged housebreakers figure the hurricane is their ticket to lifelong riches. Plenty of houses have already been damaged, and anything missing will be chalked up to the hurricane. Easy money – if there is no one to catch them. Well, at least no one left alive to tell the story afterwards.

ACTS OF NATURE flips between these three viewpoints, one per chapter. Each introduction begins with an act of violence and the action steps up from there, from roofs ripping off to bullets ripping through bodies. This is not a cozy little read by the fireplace, it's a slam-bang (emphasis on the bang) action adventure that only the strongest and most ruthless characters will survive. Fans of hardboiled action books will enjoy this one.

Reviewed by Linnea Dodson, June 2008

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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