This is a story about Paul, Jimmy and Emily and how they each grow and find that they have more courage and strength to overcome incredible odds than they ever dreamed they had. It is an LDS action thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat and pages flying until the last sentence into the earliest hours of the morning. I found that I couldn't put it down once I started. It has everything in it that you could ever want - FBI, corrupt judges, mob action, chase scenes, tragedies, love complications, and more.
New to their jobs in the FBI, Paul and Emily find they may connect on a level deeper than friendship. Then Jimmy, with his eccentric ways and interest in Emily, ends up staying with Paul. When Emily's life is in danger, it takes all of Paul's wits to try to get her out of danger . When Jimmy jumps in to help out anything can happen in the race against time to save her.
I love the idea of savvy yet sleazy bad guys who use thugs to do their dirty work and how it shows us how absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Defensive Tactics is a fast-paced story that grabs you and doesn't let go until the last pages. I loved how integrity and understanding, love and second chances are all so neatly woven into the story - especially with Jimmy. I totally identified with him and all that he was going through, the whole idea of overcoming terrible unexpected loss and wandering aimlessly in life as a result. I know that when Jimmy goes to get help from the LDS bishop, I felt I learned new important truths right along with Jimmy. The author has the ability to teach and nurture as he keeps the excitement going, and I read things that the bishop talked about in the book with Jimmy to my husband because they rang so deeply with in me. About life after death, what real judgement is about, and how not to assume that all is lost with our limited understanding of life after death. I found that I grew in my own understanding and learned a lot from this book. It made me sit up and go WOW, I just had an epiphany when gospel truths rang clearly. It actually helped me in dealing with the unexpected loss of my father earlier this year, to find the strength to pull myself up from floundering and to find the ability and desire to make important goals again, in a similar fashion to Jimmy.
I felt that this story had it all. I really enjoyed it from start to finish and found that I grew along with the characters in unexpected ways. I loved the Mafia aspect, and felt it was very realistic. I loved all the intrigue that kept me wanting to know what happens next. I felt that this was an amazing first book by Steve Westover and would never have believed that it was his first novel- if I hadn't been told. It has the air of a seasoned writer to it, with complicated plot twists and character growth throughout the story! I loved it and know that you can't go wrong picking it up to read. Just make sure you have a block of unscheduled time, because once you start reading, I guarantee that you will enjoy the rapid thrill-ride until you have reached the exciting and very satisfying conclusion!
You can get a copy of Steve's book here.
Disclaimer: While I did receive a copy of this book to review, my opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.