Velocity by Alan Jacobson

Reviewed by Stephanie Nordkap

Velocity by Alan JacobsonKaren Vail, renowned FBI profiler, returns in Velocity, but this time her case takes an ominous and deathly turn. Vail’s boyfriend, Detective Robby Hernandez, has disappeared and little trace of him can be found, except for a blood stain and a very tenuous connection to local suspects already involved in another crime. The tension and stress keep Vail and her task force running as they know that the next forty-eight to seventy-two hours are critical in a missing person’s case.

Just as the pieces of information come together, and they close in on a suspect’s trail, Vail is suddenly called back to Quantico to handle a case of vital importance. Frustrated with the delay and being far from the case, Vail turns to Hector DeSantos, a covert government operative, to help her with the case. DeSantos uncovers confidential information that sends Vail reeling with shock, and sets her and DeSantos on a dangerous path, a path neither one could foresaw at the beginning, one that could threaten many careers, lives, and everything else one holds dear. In order for Vail to save the one she loves, she will have to negotiate the dangerous waters of the drug cartels and learn some shocking truths – truths that will have a profound effect on her life.

Velocity was a pulse-pounding ride that did not stop from beginning to end. The novel was full of twists and turns, shocking secrets and truths, government operations, suspense, and thrills. If you are innocent of the drug cartels and some of their inner workings, you won’t be after reading this book, and I found myself really contemplating the infiltration of the drugs into our society and how deep it really is. Mr. Jacobson held no punches when it came to explaining the drug situation along the U.S./Mexico border and how some of the drugs make it into the United States, and explained it in such a way that it was clear, but frightening. I was impressed at his research and at the list of F.B.I . and D.E.A. and other agencies he made use of in order to gather the information for this book.

The plot was interesting, full of detail and description, definitely full of twists and turns, and suspenseful. I would recommend that you read Crush before reading this novel however, as it took me a while to orient myself with the characters and some of the events as this book picks up pretty much where Crush left off and it can be confusing if you don’t know what’s going on. I also found some of the law enforcement lingo confusing as many acronyms were used and I didn’t know what they meant. I understand that Mr. Jacobson was trying to be true to how it really would be like as a law enforcement officer, but to a normal person, some of the language can go right over our heads, and this does take away somewhat from the story.

I enjoyed the characters, but I can’t say that I totally connected with them at all times. I didn’t always understand Karen Vail, although I did admire her sheer guts and determination to find Robby no matter what the cost. There were some things she did that I did not like, but when I put myself in her place, I wondered if I would have acted the same way, desperate. She was thinking as a woman instead of a F.B.I. Agent many times and this often got her in trouble with her superior officer. There were many other interesting characters, but I didn’t really get to know them well because the action was the main part of the story and not character development. I would have loved to have known more about Hector DeSantos as he seemed so interesting. Perhaps in the next book?

All in all, this was a fun, interesting read, with a depth to it that was surprising. I am looking forward to reading more about Karen Vail and her colleagues in the future.

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