“No Shelter” by Z. Constance Frost

I’ll just come out and say it:

Hands-down, the best e-book I’ve ever read.

Holly Lin is a nanny by day, a secret government assassin by night.  There, that’s as cheesy as I’m going to get during this review, but I do have to give some background.

Fast-paced, well-timed, slightly-humorous and fairly-realistic action, Action, ACTION.  This girl is half-Japanese, mid 20’s, hot and really, really good at killing.  The best part about the action in this book is that it isn’t all bullets flying by her ears and such, much of the action is plot-driven, taking us to all kinds of locations around the world.

The best part about the character development is that it isn’t just laid out for us.  Sometimes, the whole tagline is about the protagonists motivations, “I’m Bomber Rockmuscle.  I drink hard and shoot harder, and I’m out to avenge the murder of a busload of nuns and the guy that makes my favourite sandwich at the Greek deli down the block.”

Holly’s a complex girl though.  She’s been in love, but lost that love.  She’s got some family issues, but has some very loving and normal family members, even a typical difficult relationship with her mother.  She’s a nanny to two DC General’s kids and loves them like her own, teaching them languages and Right VS. Wrong while taking them to the museum and the pool.  Hell, she even cops shit from another character for using the phrase “love them like my own”.

This book almost, kinda sorta, maybe could border on a Secret Government Assassin Thriller formulaic approach, but that’s just to fool you.  Underneath all that is a complex woman who is both ordinary and extraordinary, and the author somehow finds a way to blend that into incredibly benign and banal situations (like sitting at the pool with women nicknamed only for their haircolour) as well as incredibly tense situations (on the phone with a terrorist threatening the lives of the children).

I’ll also come out and say something a bit bold:

There is no way, NO FRIGGIN’ WAY, that this is the author’s first novel, let alone a self-published e-book.  This is clearly a well-established thriller author who has invented a persona and is experimenting with the world of e-publishing.  There’s simply no way that somebody just writes something like this for their first shot out of the ranks.

I’ve outed you “Z. Constance” IF that is your real name, which it clearly is not.  Time to come clean and admit that you’re really James Friggin Patterson.

Come on, seriously.  The jig is up.  You’re busted.

Just kidding.  But email me and tell me if I’m right, I won’t tell.