By Gemma Halliday
Minotaur Books, $24.99, 272 pages
Anna Smith’s simple, anonymous life is upended when she has to dive for cover as bullets shatter the window of the pet shelter where she works. As the shooting continues, a man appears and rescues her and a coworker. The event sends Anna and that man, Nick Dade, on a wild, dangerous path as they attempt to discover who the assassins are and why they have become targets. Anna suspects her former handler from Serbia, who trained her from age nine to be an assassin during the upheavals of war. Nick Dade, who is a hired killer himself, was sent to eliminate her, and wants to know why someone else is trying to do the job. As they frantically seek answers and safety, they develop a mutual attraction, even as they harbor suspicions and mistrust for each other. While investigating, they uncover a plot by an unknown group to kill a politician. Seeking personal redemption, they plan a strategy to save him.
Gemma Halliday has received numerous awards for her mysteries, including a National Reader’s Choice award, an Award of Excellence, and three RITA nominations. Play Nice is a fast-paced, exciting thriller set in San Francisco. The non-stop action and complex plot will leave the reader wanting more.
Reviewed by Fran Byram