Rating: 4.5 stars
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Ty Grady and Zane Garrett are back in Baltimore after completing their most recent undercover assignment. The city is facing some turmoil in the form of bombings, bank robberies, and the resulting public backlash against law enforcement for their failure to stop the criminals. Ty and Zane, along with their fellow FBI agents, are working to find out who is behind the crimes. The bombings in particular are causing death and destruction, striking fear in the hearts of the local citizens. In an effort to help improve public relations a bit, Ty is also assigned to run a softball league bringing together all the various first responder groups throughout the city. But as Ty becomes a more public face of the campaign, he also draws the attention and the anger of the bomber. As the pair face injuries and increasing violence, they must race to figure out who is behind the crime wave before more lives are lost, including their own.
With Divide & Conquer, Urban and Roux once again gives us an exciting suspense story combined with the ever developing romance between Ty and Zane. As the Cut & Run series continues, the relationship between the two men deepens as they learn to accept and acknowledge their growing love for one another. Here were really move forward with the romantic side of things as the men deal with the aftermath of Ty’s confession of love from Fish & Chips. Zane is still dealing with his own feelings as well as trying to work through his response to Ty’s declaration. And the authors really up the intensity as one of the men faces a serious injury and the guys have to navigate new struggles as they deal with the aftermath of the attack and the effects on both men.
I think Urban and Roux are doing a nice job in pacing the relationship between Ty and Zane. They are moving things forward quickly enough to keep readers from getting frustrated, but still giving us growth and change in each book. At times I do wish we could see a bit more from Zane. We hear a lot about how his reticence to accept his feelings is due to his need to analyze and turn things over in his mind rather than react emotionally. But I would like to see that in action a bit more, rather than just being told. However I do really like both Ty and Zane and they continue to be great characters and really likeable guys, both individually and together.
I really enjoyed the suspense and action portion of the story as Ty and Zane are back home in Baltimore. Living in the DC/Baltimore suburbs, I was familiar with many of the places in the story and the authors really capture the neighborhoods and the landmarks well. From the Inner Harbour, to the aquarium, to hanging out in Fells Point, the story really hits on the hotspots in the area and feels really grounded in the city. To me the mystery part of the plot wasn’t quite as exciting as in earlier books. For some reason I just didn’t feel quite as much urgency. But I also think that is in part to the shift the series is taking toward more focus on the relationship between the men and giving that more prominence.
So once more, another great installment in the Cut & Run series. I will warn you that the authors leave us with a cliffhanger here for the first time, which I have mixed feelings about. But overall I really loved Divide & Conquer and continue to think this is just a stellar series. I’d definitley recommend it and can’t wait until I can pick up the next book.