Title: Almost Home
Author: Pam Jenoff
Genre: Contemporary fiction, thriller
Publisher: Atria Books
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Review copy from the author
First line: I barrel through the double doors and across the lobby of the State Department, bypassing the metal detector and waving my plastic identification badge at the guard, who nods in recognition.
Jordan Weiss has worked as an intelligence officer for the past 10 years, traveling and working in some of the most dangerous places on earth. And yet it is her new assignment to London that scares her – even though she asked to be assigned there. Ten years earlier, while she was attending Cambridge, her boyfriend Jared died in a drowning accident. The memories keep her away from England, until her friend Sarah writes to say she is suffering from a chronic illness and would love to see her. Jordan pushes her fear of the past aside and asks to be assigned to London so that she can be with her friend.
After receiving her new assignment, and meeting a new colleague, the mysterious Sebastian, Jordan is contacted by a friend from her past. Chris, who was Jared’s best friend at Cambridge, has started digging around a bit and doesn’t think Jared’s death was an accident. Everything that Jordan has believed and felt for the past ten years is turned upside down, and she embarks on an investigation of Jared’s death. Things unravel quickly, putting those closest to her in danger – and making her wonder who she can trust.
Almost Home was my first experience with author Pam Jenoff, but I can tell you it certainly won’t be my last. It’s been a while since I’ve read a romantic thriller, and I had forgotten how much fun it can be to get wrapped up in intrigue, danger, and passion. Jordan is a great character – an intelligence officer who is strong, and yet hasn’t lost her compassion or femininity. She is still grieving for the loss of Jared, the one great love affair of her life – and yet finds herself drawn toward Sebastian, while at the same time wondering about Chris’s intentions for their friendship.
Jenoff has put together a plot that keeps the story moving, but her background in diplomacy and foreign relations also shines through, as the details of Jordan’s assignment come out. The ever-shifting political climate and borders in Eastern Europe play a big part in the story, and I enjoyed learning some things about this perpetually troubled part of the world.
This is a sexy, intriguing novel and once I reached the last one hundred pages, I resented anything (or anyone) that kept me from finishing it. There were a couple of twists toward the end – one I figured out, but one that surprised me. I was also surprised that it ends with a bit of a cliff-hanger. I’m glad I only have to wait until July for the sequel, Hidden Things, to be released.
(Almost Home was provided to me by the author for the purpose of this review. This in no way effected the rating and review I gave the book. Some of the links on my site are Amazon affiliate links. If you click on a link and subsequently purchase anything, I will receive a small commission.)