At eight years old, Thea Paris watched helplessly as her older brother was kidnapped. Now, many years later, she’s dedicated her life to helping those in similar situations.
Already living with survivor’s guilt, even though her brother was returned several months later, Thea felt even worse after it was discovered that she was the original target that tragic day. However, rather than separate and shield herself from similar situations, Thea went on to make kidnapping her business–literally.
There are very few elite, full-time hostage negotiators who work in the most dangerous parts of the world. Thea is one of them. Using the pain from her past as fuel, Thea’s mission is to protect innocent people from undergoing the heartache her family endured all those years ago when her brother was taken.
From the thundering opening sequence where Howe makes it immediately obvious that she knows her way around an action scene, Thea is portrayed as one of the best in the world at what she does.
However, unbeknownst to Thea, her job, which she already does with intimate first-hand knowledge of the pain families go through when a loved one is abducted, is about to become even more personal.
While spending time aboard his yacht, The Aphrodite, for his sixtieth birthday, Christos Paris, Thea’s oil tycoon father, is taken.
Thea, who specializes not only in negotiations but in high-powered retrieval (when the circumstances call for it), springs into action. With help from her team at Quantum Security International (QSI), a London-based hostage rescue organization, Thea begins pouring over her father’s current business dealings and personal life looking for clues.
It turns out that Christos was about to sign the biggest business deal of his career, which could have given someone motive to make him disappear. However, he also had enemies outside of his working life, making for no shortage of suspects.
In the days after his abduction, Christos’ captors fail to make demands of any kind for his safe return–which she and her QSI team had anxiously been waiting for. It doesn’t take long for Thea to realize the bad guys aren’t playing by the rule book on this one, rendering the bulk of her experience in the field useless for the time being.
A compelling new heroine, Thea is also a diabetic. Howe incorporates her disease into the plot, and not only when it’s convenient to the story. At times, it becomes another obstacle for Thea to deal with both in her private and professional life. Therein lies the driving force that makes this plot work so well–the odds are completely stacked against Thea in every way imaginable, yet she never crumbles.
Between action scenes, readers get to see a glimpse of the Paris family and their day-to-day lives. It turns out that Thea’s father, now on his fifth wife, isn’t exactly missed by everyone. That list includes Thea’s brother, who turns out to have a wild second life that few people know about.
The story itself is original and fresh, but the real fun is following Thea as she–even defiantly at times–ducks under, leaps over, and runs through every obstacle in her way. So without any promising leads, she refuses to give up and turns her attention to the one clue she has to work with: a set of weird, cryptic messages written in Latin that were sent to her father’s phone.
It’s not much, but Thea eventually starts connecting dots and finds herself racing against the clock while trying to dodge one dangerous situation after another in an attempt to bring her dad home alive.
K.J. Howe, who writes with the finesse of a seasoned veteran, stuns with her unrelenting debut novel. The Freedom Broker features a realistic, hard-hitting plot, stunning action sequences, nail-biting suspense, and a brilliant new cast of characters. Howe is the real deal–thriller fans will devour this one in a hurry and leave satisfied!
Author: K.J. Howe
Series: Thea Paris #1
Pages: 400 (Hardcover)
Release Date: February 7, 2017 (Order Now!)