BOOK REVIEW: Where Danger Hides by Terry Odell


Review By Ryder Islington, author of ULTIMATE JUSTICE, A Trey Fontaine Mystery I’ve been wanting to post this review for a long time. I began reading WHERE DANGER HIDES earlier in the year, but a message from my publisher about a major revision put my reading for pleasure on hold. Finally, I sent my revision off and had an opportunity to finish reading this book–and let me tell you, it was torture to have to stop reading for six weeks and not even peek at the next page! One thing is sure: Terry Odell knows how to pull you into a plot, and how to create real people for her stories. I’m in madly in love with Dalton. He’s cute, and funny, and smart, and baaaaad. I can hear his Texas accent as I read.  And I wouldn’t mind being as smart and sassy as Miri. I must, absolutely must, read the rest of this series, and I recommend it to anyone who likes adventure, mystery, romance, intrigue, suspense…well…you get the picture. If you like to read, you’ll love Where Danger Hides. Take a look at the cover, and read the back cover blurb. And further down you’ll find Terry Odell’s bio.

Hiding behind the public façade of a private investigation firm-Blackthorne, Incorporated-are a band of elite covert operatives Dalton (just Dalton–nobody dares call him Ambrose), is one of Blackthorne’s best. A charming Texan, he prides himself on blending in, and there’s no one he can’t scam. But his obsession with putting a Colombian drug lord out of the picture threatens to endanger his life and the lives of his team. When Dalton nearly blows a simple undercover assignment at a fundraising gala, it convinces his boss to tether him to a dog-and-pony-show case at a halfway house. Instead, Dalton finds death, drugs, and danger. Street-smart Miri Chambers wants nothing more than to help everyone at the Galloway House shelter lead new and productive lives, but residents are disappearing without a trace. An unexpected meeting with Dalton at a gala turns into an assignment for him, but Miri doesn’t think he’s taking the job seriously. Trust doesn’t come easy to Miri. When the situation escalates into a combat zone, can she trust Dalton with her life?

You can find Terry Odell at terryodell.com and her books are available at Amazon.com as well as brick-and-mortar bookstores everywhere.

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, a rare native for many years. I graduated from UCLA, and worked in the LA County secondary school system, teaching junior high school science, until we moved to Florida. I can’t remember learning to read, only that I always did. My parents tell people they had to move from our first home because I finished the library. Learning to write is another story. In some ways, I’ve always been a writer—I just never put the words on paper. Most of my ideas were based on books or television shows or movies I thought I could “improve” with my own plot or character changes. But my ‘real’ writing was usually more technical. I wrote curriculum or training manuals. I discovered fan fiction, which was a great training ground once I decided I could handle all the boring typing mechanics. Writing dialogue with all those commas and quotation marks in the right places was a major headache—too much work. I could enjoy my stories in my head and not have to do all that technical stuff.

But, one weekend, when I was home alone, I decided to try to rework a story that had been rattling around in my head for years. It had started as a vague Mac­Gyver story, but turned into a Highlander one, because that was what I was read­ing at the time. I sent it to someone whose work I’d been editing, and she gently guided me through fixing my hack mistakes. The gauntlet had been thrown. There were ‘rules’ I had to learn, and since I had no more wall space for needlepoint, writing became a challenge and a new cre­ative outlet. My stories were well-received in the Highlander fandom world, but I wanted to try writing original characters.

I discovered a writing group at iVillage, but found the short story format very hard to master. I’d write a beginning, a middle, and more and more middle, so I moved to novels where I could develop the characters in more depth and finally get to a satisfying ‘the end.‘ Ironically, my first publications were short stories, with no mystery whatsoever, available from The Wild Rose Press.

An avid mystery reader, I thought I’d try writing a mystery, but as my daughters pointed out, it was more of a romance. (Mom, she noticed his brown eyes were flecked with hazel on page 10. It’s a romance!) I realized that even when reading a mystery, I was captivated by the relationships between the characters – Faye Kellerman’s Rina and Peter, Barbara Parker’s Gail and Anthony, even Laurie R. King’s Mary and Sherlock. Even in books without continuing relationships, I was still watching characters hook up more than paying attention to the crime—on the first read. Of course, this means I read almost every book twice; once for the rela­tionship, once for the mystery.

I joined the Romance Writers of America and its Central Florida chapter, to learn about the other side of writing—the business side as I move to the next step: get­ting my work off my hard drive and out where others can see it. Since then, we’ve moved from Florida to the mountains of Colorado, and in addition to RWA, I belong to the Mystery Writers of America, and the International Thriller Writers. I love looking out my windows at the wildlife as I write.

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