Today I am spotlighting Alana Lorens’ book Encounter. This is a suspenseful book that takes multiple viewpoints as they crash within one freak snowstorm in New Mexico. The characters are well developed and help with a storyline that loses its way at points. For my full review keep reading after the book blurb.
Teo Haroun and the other lawyers in his firm look forward in varying degrees to the retreat at the Sherman Ranch in northern New Mexico. The boss has laid down some rules-no phones, no computers, no communication with the outside world-that makes them uneasy. But the corporate team-building exercises are necessary for this firm to survive its inner sniping and turmoil-and to protect the secrets they hold. Inez Suela and thirty other Mexicans have paid a coyote hundreds of pesos to take them across the border into the United States, where they hope to make a better life. The crowded truck heads north into New Mexico to meet their local driver, the occupants unaware that a freak March snowstorm is waiting in its path. Jake Patrin, the caretaker of the Ranch, fights demons of his own as he struggles daily with addiction. Working far from the city on the lonely Ranch, hosting those who rent the facility, is his protection and solace. But he’s about to lose the only peace he’s been able to grasp. Davi Pilar needs to make some fast money to appease a couple of St. Louis loan sharks, so he agrees to pick up a truckload of illegals and take them to St. Louis. He drives to New Mexico, not knowing that Inez, the woman who rejected him years before, is one of those on that truck. The intersection of these people, the collision of their cultures, the revelation of their secrets-all these things lead to violence, death, and even redemption in their New Mexico ENCOUNTER.
Secrets lie within all people. Inez is travelling illegally to America for a chance at a better life, Teo is on a corporate retreat that may end up forcing him to reveal a very real and possibly deadly truth. Jake is hosting the corporate retreat but with his secret addiction things could get dangerous. Finally, Davi is supposed to transport the illegals to America to help pay off his secret. These people and their secrets will converge on one snow filled night. Will all come out unscathed or will their dangerous secrets lead to violence and death?
At the beginning this book really had promise. The story wove nicely and the characters grew as their mysteries became more pronounced. Unfortunately, the story ended up falling off the tracks around the point when its should have really been speeding up toward the end. It almost seemed like the author ended up with too many viewpoints to keep up with. I was a let down when the suspense was less suspenseful and more cluttered. That being said this story really did have potential. The characters were good and their backstory was well thought out. I definitely would like to pick up another book by Alana Lorens but for me this story just ended up falling short.