Rating: 3 stars
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When US Marshall Ken Sullivan teams up with Chicago detective Michael Branham to take down a thief, he doesn’t expect it to change his life. What starts out as a typical stakeout between colleagues ends with a car wreck and a stranding in the midst of a vicious blizzard. Wounded and alone, Michael and Ken must depend on one another for survival, something that takes a lot of trust on both sides.
The situation bonds the two men, but neither is sure what that means in terms of a relationship. Are they just friends with benefits or something more, and how can a long distance love affair really last? When Michael needs him most, Ken moves heaven and earth to make sure he’s there, proving to them both that they have the potential for something wonderful, if only they can make it work.
Trust in the Fast Lane is a quickly paced novella that neither lingers nor offends. It is blasé and non descriptive and made almost no impression on me at all. The plot is simple and straightforward and somewhat shallow. There is nothing particularly original here and the story is one that we’ve all seen before. Two cops work together to capture a criminal, but when the pursuit goes wrong, they end up crashing their car and have to seek refuge from a storm in a nearby barn. From there, despite being injured, Ken and Michael become predictably cozy. And luckily, the barn appears to have everything they need to survive, including hot chocolate mix. I have been in many barns and I have never seen a single packet of hot chocolate mix. Apparently I haven’t been visiting the right ones. Neither character is given much depth and they read as flat, almost lifeless constructs. We’re never quite sure how or why they fall for one another or why they keep pursuing one another. They aren’t terrible men or anything so negative. They just don’t leave any lingering impact.
There are several cases that Ken and Michael end up working on together either by choice or circumstance, but none of them are resolved. The author often provides excessive details about work completed on these cases, suggesting they are somehow important to the story. But when no resolution follows, it just leaves things feeling unfinished. The end result is an overall plot that is not solid as it should be, despite the smooth writing style. Given the importance of work to each of these men, a more fully developed exploration of their cases might have helped to flesh out everything else as well.
Trust in the Fast Lane isn’t good or bad. It just isn’t memorable. Everything about from the characters to the plot are surface creations that never achieve any sort of depth. It’s a over used story device and while it doesn’t detract, nor does it add anything. Unless you’re just looking for a quick read or love stories about law enforcement officers, I’d have to give this one a pass.
I haven’t spent a lot of time in barns, but I’d be quite surprised to find one with hot chocolate mix. Thanks for the review, Sue; I think I’ll pass on this book.