4 out of 4 stars
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The police radio came to life, and Sergeant Dan O'Rourke heard the dreaded words no police officer wants to hear. "Shots fired. Shots fired! Officers down!" Sergeant O'Rourke was the first officer to arrive on the scene of what should have been a routine traffic stop but had turned into a murder. He finds an officer still in the patrol car critically injured, and Sergeant O'Rourke's son, Brian, lay dead in the gutter. Unintended Consequences by Scott Burnell is a story of tragedy, heartbreak, corruption, and romance.
Five years went by, and the police had not captured Brian's murderer. The man escaped to Mexico, where there is no extradition for crimes. Brian's sister, Heather, could not get past her brother's death, and she wanted justice for Brian. Without telling her parents, she got in touch with a man named Andy DiPaola and begged him to find the man who killed her brother and bring him back into the United States, where he would get arrested and tried for his crime. Andy did opposition research for politicians to get dirt on their opponents and keep them from winning an election. He knew how to get things done, but no one had ever asked him to do anything like this. After first saying no to Heather, Andy finally agreed to see what he could do. However, he instructed Heather she could tell no one and never contact him again, and she agreed. Will they both keep their promises to each other? Will there be justice for Brian?
Burnell successfully portrayed the emotions of each of the characters in the book. He made the reader feel the anger and grief Heather, and her parents felt over Brian's murder while at the same time adding a nearly perfect portrayal of a romance amid the chaos. What I liked most about this book was Andy's character. He knew how to get things done for his clients without revealing how he did it. He could be ruthless in his attempts to gather damaging information about someone that could ultimately ruin their reputation. He was generous to a fault with his friends. Andy would shower them with expensive gifts as his way of showing them how much he valued their relationship. It wasn't to stand out and get praised; it was because he genuinely cared.
The thing I disliked most about the book was the flow of some dialogue. In my opinion, some conversations came across as stiff and unnatural. Other times, they flowed nicely. The storyline was creative, but the dialogues that sounded unnatural felt like interruptions in the story. That is the only objection I have about this book.
I enjoyed reading this story despite the dialogue I disliked. The romance side of the book was too perfect, but it was refreshing not to have a relationship filled with emotions, jealousy, and suspicions. There were a few curse words throughout the book, and the scene of Brian's death was disturbing, but overall, the book was a good read, and it appears professionally edited, as I found only a few spelling errors and typos. Therefore, I am rating Unintended Consequences 4 out of 4 stars. I considered removing one star due to the dialogue issues mentioned above. However, as that is just my personal opinion, I decided against it. I recommend this book to those who love a perfect romance and those who enjoy a suspenseful read. I don't recommend the book to anyone under the age of sixteen because of the profanity.
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