Detective Alexandra “Alex” Brennan has a good collection of folks in her corner, from her retired detective father, to her supportive cousin, Eli, and his husband who are great friends to Alex. She’s got a fantastic partner, too, and that’s a comfort when Alex shows up at an informant’s house party to find the town’s campaigning mayor higher than a kite on the living room couch.
Alex correctly managed the case, but political pressure brings two sexy women into her sphere. One is a wealthy bombshell of a reporter in search of a scoop, and the other is a straight-laced woman with Asperger’s who also happens to be one of the Internal Affairs officers investigating Alex for possible misconduct.
Under Pressure is the first in a new series. This is a novella, so the action wraps rather quickly. There’s a tiny bit of romance here, and the writing keeps the pace moving relentlessly forward. I was happy that the conflict had a nice twist, because it may have been too simplistic otherwise. Alex is likable, and her instincts are sound. She never wavers from the honorable path, even when unscrupulous people are bringing the heat. The resolution is satisfying from a emotional standpoint, and ends on a more upbeat note with Alex taking control of her professional destiny. I’d like to read on and see how the romance develops going forward.
I will mention, Alex is a cop and there is a shooting in this story. It is clear that Alex’s behavior is written to highlight her self-defense. However, the moment of violence was rapid and sudden. It’s a shame that there couldn’t have been moments of introspection on this activity. Unfortunately, I think, Alex doesn’t reflect on that moment so much as the cover-up that is perpetrated. Given the context of our society right now, it felt like and opportunity missed.