Ross's return to the bayous of Louisiana sizzles with the sensuality and danger fans of her romantic thrillers have come to expect, as Chicago detective Kate Delaney travels to post-Katrina New Orleans to investigate the supposed suicide of her estranged twin sister. Once there, Kate finds she can't trust the NOPD, so joins forces with bad-boy private investigator Nick Broussard, a former New Orleans police officer recently thrown off the force. Their investigation turns up a killer, a plague of corruption and a mystery assailant whose target is unclear; is Kate the next victim of a serial killer, or are Nick's crime world contacts looking to silence him? Though Nick and Kate's instant attraction might seem predictable and precipitousâ€”yes, she's a "no-nonsense, Joe Friday, Yankee police detective" and he's "the most frustrating man she'd ever met"â€”the scintillating love scenes it yields shouldn't disappoint. Though new readers will find Ross's casual, chatty prose style a love-it-or-hate-it affair, it pairs well with the Big Easy backdrop, and her deliberate pace pays off in the powerful, action-packed conclusion. (Mar.)Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
No Safe Placeby JoAnn Ross
Chicago homicide detective Kate Delaney fiercely defends victims. Which is why -- despite death threats -- she's testifying to a federal grand jury about local police corruption. It's also why she's infuriated by the New Orleans police department's blasÉ attitude toward her estranged sister's death. But pursuing an investigation in a strange city means allying… See more details below
Chicago homicide detective Kate Delaney fiercely defends victims. Which is why -- despite death threats -- she's testifying to a federal grand jury about local police corruption. It's also why she's infuriated by the New Orleans police department's blasÉ attitude toward her estranged sister's death. But pursuing an investigation in a strange city means allying with someone who knows the territory. And the players. Someone with a total disregard for the rules.
As an ex-cop from a police family, New Orleans PI Nick Broussard knows that cops live by their own code. You don't rat out a fellow officer. The last thing he needs is some smart-mouthed, by-the-book outsider unknowingly injecting herself into his undercover search for the truth. Even worse is the way she conjures up visions of tangled sheets....
Nick and Kate's chase pits them against the criminal underworld of the sultry southern city. And as they peel away layers of deadly deception, they discover a dark secret too many are willing to kill to keep.
Linda Howard, New York Times bestselling author
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They came for Nick Broussard in the dark, guns drawn, harsh shouts shattering the night.
It was 0430 hours, a time in the morning that the navy referred to as "oh-dark thirty," when all but the most determined party animals or chronic drunks were asleep -- or at least passed out -- in bed.
As he'd been. Until they'd stormed onto his ketch, dressed all in black like ninjas, pistols drawn.
"On your knees!" one of them screamed, his voice cracking with the same nervous adrenaline that slammed into Nick's bloodstream like a Stinger missile. "Hands on top of your head."
"Hey, stay cool, cher. I know the drill."
Hadn't he been on the other end of it enough times? Both as a Navy SEAL and, more recently, before he'd been thrown off the force, an NOPD cop.
Nick's head nearly exploded as he crawled out of bed, laced his fingers together on top of his pounding skull, and refused to flinch when the metal barrel pressed against his temple.
The kid on the other end of the pistol had a shiny, beardless face that made him look as if he hadn't made it out of adolescence.
Had he ever been that freaking young?
Nah. When your father was Antoine Broussard, an angry, brawling man with an explosive, white-hot temper, you grew up real fast.
A storm had boiled in from the Gulf; the torrential rain hammering on the deck of The Hoo-yah created a thick, slanting curtain of white noise that must've been why he hadn't heard them coming.
It had to have been the rain. Or all the damn Jack Daniel's he'd drunk last night. Because the only other possibility was that he was losing his edge. Which would suggest he might be getting old.
And wasn't that a fun thought?
Nah. Couldn't be. Six months ago he'd been running black op missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Sure, he'd been wounded, but a little shrapnel in the thigh and chest couldn't make a guy go downhill that fast.
Hell, no. Still, getting older was definitely preferable to an up close and personal meeting with the Grim Reaper. Which could well be in his future if these thugs decided to take a little drive out into the swamp.
There were four of them, and one of him. Which might present a problem for some Delta Force dog-face, but if you were a SEAL, well, hey, that just meant the odds were in your favor.
His problem was, he had to keep his eye on the mission. Which meant if he took the bad guys out, he might fail to infiltrate Leon LeBlanc's organization. Which wasn't an option.
"Y'all cops?" The easy conversational tone wasn't easy given that his mouth was dry as Death Valley and tasted like he'd sucked up every last bit of mud in the Mississippi delta. "Or maybe LeBlanc sent you?"
Getting the attention of the guy who ran the South Louisiana rackets was what had put him in that Algiers bar last night. And that, in turn, was responsible for what he suspected was going to end up being the mother of all hangovers. The trouble with going undercover was that you had to act like the bad guys. Who last night had appeared to be trying to drink the state of Louisiana dry.
"Shut the hell up!" A big ugly thug, built like a refrigerator, slammed a steel-toed boot into his back.
A shock of fiery pain tore up Nick's back. Hell, he'd be pissing blood for a week.
If he stayed alive that long.
Nick wasn't afraid of death. Back when he'd been providing rapid response in hot spots all over the world, he'd faced it down more than once. Besides, any guy afraid to die was a guy who was afraid to live. And the one thing Nick had always had in common with his brawling, alcoholic old man was that he believed in living life to the fullest.
"Let's go, Broussard." The refrigerator jerked Nick to his feet.
"Y'all gonna let me get dressed first? Even down here during Mardi Gras, dragging a guy off to jail naked might make some bystander a tad suspicious."
Nick figured he'd be lucky to be going to jail.
Proving that he wasn't exactly dealing with NASA scientists, the men seemed stumped by his request. He watched as they exchanged dumbfounded, what-the-fuck-do-we-do-now looks. Finally, fridge guy lifted his knuckles off the floor long enough to scoop up the underwear lying on top of the discarded pile of clothes Nick couldn't remember stripping out of, and he tossed them at him.
Nick snagged them out of the air and yanked them on. The gray knit boxer briefs were a long way from a suit of armor, but if a guy had to go into battle, and it looked as if he was going to be doing exactly that, it was a helluva lot more preferable to tuck your balls away beforehand. He'd never gotten why so many of his old SEAL team found going commando a cool thing to do.
The thug yanked his arms behind his back so hard, he was surprised his shoulders didn't pop out of their joints. A pair of handcuffs locked around his wrists, digging tightly into his skin. Nick had always enjoyed that click of metal, which was so much more satisfying than the rasp of plastic the military was using these days. He did not enjoy it now.
Everyone on the boat, including Nick, froze as a siren from a cop car screamed nearby on Lake Marina Avenue. Then faded into the distance.
"Let's go." His captor pushed Nick toward the splintered door that was hanging by its hinges.
"Since you asked so nicely, how can I refuse?"
"You keep mouthin' off, numbnuts, and you gonna be gator bait."
It was not, Nick suspected, an idle threat.
Copyright © 2007 by The Ross Family Trust
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Ms. Ross is no LJ or Karen Rose. She gives a good sex scene and lots of them, but the story was sorely lacking. I didn't feel like Kate and Nick just HAD to be together. The story just doesn't drag you in...I could care less what happened. Very anti-climactic and wrapped up in big hurry.
I really like Ms. Ross¿s books but this was an exception. I won¿t review the plot as others have done so. The characters weren¿t fleshed out at all and I just didn¿t care about any of them. I didn¿t see any chemistry between the two leads and they got involved very quickly. I didn¿t like the resoluton of the book and the ending was in just a few pages and had me going, ¿Huh?¿
I have read Joann Ross books in the past and really liked them but she out did herself with No Safe Place. Set is post Katrina New Orleans, she really gives an idea to some of the problems still facing the Gulf South without making them too intrusive in the story. The story itself is a real page turner. I didn't want to put it down until I found out what happened. It is a real keeper and one I will read again.
JoAnn Ross writes a suspenseful romantic story in No Safe Place. Chicago Detective Kate Delaney has made a name for herself in her hometown. She had to overcome a rough childhood to become the strong woman she is today. When she receives news of the death of her estranged twin sister, she drops everything and heads to New Orleans. When Kate is stone walled by the NOPD she turns to PI Nick Broussard for help. Nick Broussard is trying to run a PI firm after being kicked off the police force. He agrees to help Kate since he knew her sister. But his other motive is to get her into his bed ASAP. Nick is also still dealing with the suicide of his father who was also on the force. The deeper they dig into her sisters past the higher the danger becomes. Kate and Nick both have deep secrets they want to keep buried but in order to get to the truth they must trust each other. What starts out as a casual fling ignites a passion that will stand the test of time. No Safe Place captures the pulse and texture of New Orleans. You feel like you are right there with Kate and Nick on the streets and in the bayou. Their chemistry is hot and sensual. This story will stay with you long after you have read the last page.
Chicago homicide detective Kate Delaney testifies in the Justice Department's police corruption case, which makes her hated by her peers. However, she has no time for the reaction of others because New Orleans Police Department has informed her that her twin sister, Tara, is dead.---------------- NOPD claims Tara killed herself though some detectives think murder might have occurred none have the time to investigate what could be a suicide in a city still reeling from the hurricanes. Kate also refuses to accept the ruling that her sibling killed herself. She plans to investigate Tara¿s death, but knows the Big Easy is not her turf so she needs local rule breaking muscle. She enlists former NOPD Nick Broussard, who was fired by the police department, to help her uncover the truth about the death of her sibling. However, as the pair team up Kate feels a bit of déjà vu as she alienates the police of New Orleans. She and her partner also upset the local mob trying to regain their grip on a post Katrina city.------------------ The investigation is terrific as readers obtain a taste of the troubles confronting NOPD and the residents of New Orleans in the post Katrina environs where things taken for granted no longer are easily available. The impact of the hurricanes on the city effects the position taken by NOPD and the inquiries made by Kate and Nick. The six weeks romance between the lead pair is extremely well written, but in the context of the star of the novel, New Orleans no longer an easy city to live in, seems intrusive. Still this is a great mystery investigation that the audience will devour in one tense sitting.---------------- Harriet Klausner