I‘ve discovered a new author to add to my “authors to watch out for” list and her name is Debra Webb. Suspense must be her first, middle and last name because Nameless, her Feb 2008 release by St. Martin’s Paperbacks, kept me on the edge of my seat.
Former FBI agent, Ryan McBride is bitter at having been let go from his job at Quantico. He was apart of the Child Abduction Unit when his last case went bad. Needless to say, the case created a nasty, public scandal for him and the Bureau so the two parted ways. Unemployed and resentful, he spends most of his free time imbibing in vice and drowning out his sorrows in the Florida Keys.
Meanwhile, in Birmingham, Alabama, a little girl is kidnapped and the villain will only give McBride the clues to her whereabouts. It would turn out to be the first of many challenges issued to McBride. So, the Birmingham field office are forced to bring back their former, disgraced agent to help solve the case. McBride doesn’t make it easy on them when they approach him about the job. He gives them plenty of attitude and harbors a lot of resentment but he is willing to put all of that aside to concentrate on the case.
Being set on the shelf for 3 years has made McBride rusty and his fear of failure gives him panic attacks. However, he pulls it together, one case at a time, to save the innocent bystanders who are unwilling pawns in a madman’s journey for revenge. The pressure and stress of the job had McBride lighting up so much, he really should have been nicknamed The Marlboro man. His partner, Vivian Grace, is a rookie with a disturbing past. Grace’s past is fleshed out a bit and given the horrific things that was done to her, only intensified the shocking and climatic ending of this story.
The suspense part of the story was more of the focus, so there really wasn’t much time to fully develop the romance. There’s a couple of explicit sex scenes and some nice chemistry. McBride was by far my favorite character. He is all male and some readers may find him a bit rough around the edges. However, he can be tamed by the right woman. What I found attractive about him was that he was practical, had some common sense and he lived up to the legend that he was within the Bureau. He’s also a bit of a maverick who doesn’t mind bending the rules if it saves lives.
As for Grace, she’s a rookie looking for career advancement. She had a horrific event happen to her in college that changed her life forever. She’s skittish and has problems with her sexuality, most of which stems from her past. McBride in turn helps her try to overcome her hang-ups and help build up her self-confidence. The book gets high marks from me in that the couple never uttered the word “love” to each other. The case only lasted a week but some romantic suspense novels will have the couple thinking about “love” and “forever”after 3 days. Let me put to you like this: actions spoke louder than any words that were spoken in here. I liked how the author handled their relationship.
Namless by Debra Webb gets a B+ from me. One must suspend disbelief to fully enjoy stories such as these. There’s some marginal character growth within the story. McBride is someone who didn’t know how to handle failure but Grace is able to make him reflect and respond differently to his faults and weaknesses. The secondary characters also added depth to the story. Additionally, the body count is low and the violence is more or less off camera but there is a flashback or two of sexual abuse, so be prepared. The story is told in third person with the villain’s pov given in brief chapters. I loved the suspense in here. Lastly, if there were any flaws in this story, I didn’t notice them. I was too busy turning the pages to even care. A B+.
This book can be purchased at your favorite bookstore but no ebook version was found.