Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The Hubley Case Review

Title:  The Hubley Case
Author:  J. Lee
Genre:  Suspense Thriller
Publisher:  Moonshine Cove Publ., LLC
Release Date:  Nov. 6, 2018
Purchase Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  3 Manipulative Hearts!

*With many thanks to the author & publicist for a copy of this book.

American businessman Peter Hubley lays sprawled across the floor of a Brazilian airport, cappuccino dripping down what remains of his forehead. Within an hour, his killers are dead and their bodies stolen. When an organized crime syndicate claims responsibility for the savage murder, questions are raised and the case is assigned to Special Agent Nikki Benton.

To Benton, a straight-laced FBI veteran, the Hubley case is an unusual and much-anticipated opportunity to prove herself and get out from under the thumb of her misogynistic boss. But she quickly realizes that nothing about it adds up and she may be in over her head. Her instincts prove true when her prime suspect Ben Siebert, a rebellious ex-Marine with a questionable past, is pressing a Glock 27 to her temple.

The two are forced to work together when they learn that everything - the death of the killers, the public's assumption Hubley was hiding something, even the case being assigned to Benton - was part of a carefully orchestrated plan...and that they are the next targets. But to stop a formidable perpetrator intent on killing thousands of innocent people, they must risk everything and reveal the shocking truth behind the Hubley case.

The Hubley Case is an intense international thriller that opens with American businessman Peter Hubley being murdered in a very public, daring manner in the Brazilian Airport.  The two gunmen responsible dropped their weapons immediately, lying down to await arrest.  In a strange twist, they both mysteriously died before they could be interrogated for murder, and their bodies are stolen leaving no chance of an autopsy.  And that's just the beginning of this strange, twisted case in which nothing and/or no one is as they seem.  

Relatively inexperienced FBI Agent Nikki Benton is surprised but happy to be assigned the Hubley case.  It doesn't take long for her to cross paths, investigate, and then supposedly team up with Ex-Marine Ben Siebert who's looking into the murder as a favor to Hubley's widow.  It's soon clear Ben is one intense, complicated, deadly man with much more to him than meets the eye as he harbors secrets and nurses old wounds.  I found Ben to be an intriguing, well-fleshed out character with an aura of mystery surrounding him.  On the other hand, I struggled with Nikki and felt she couldn't carry her weight as she came off a bit too na├»ve with repeated displays of childish behavior - especially for her status as an FBI agent.  The chemistry I had hoped for between them just never completely gelled, and I had trouble viewing Nikki as a professional or reliable partner.  The story plays out through several twists and turns as the author shows expertise in manipulating these characters through a convoluted plotline, keeping readers engaged and guessing.  It took me some time to figure out what was going on and while I wasn't shocked by the big reveal at the end, it didn't lessen the enjoyment of the journey in getting there.

The Hubley Case is an intriguing mystery thriller, and I was engaged throughout trying to unmask the man directing the deadly, mysterious, masterfully planned game.  Bodies fall like dominoes as the villain meticulously eliminates every threat to his endgame. He's always a step ahead of Ben and Nikki with his identity unknown to both them and readers until the very end.  The author delivers some heart-pounding moments in this debut novel and while I felt the story labored a little under the weight of excessive details in the middle, Lee brings it home with a bang.  All in all, an enjoyable, manipulative, cunning tale of greed and murder.  A Must Read!

My Rating:  3 Manipulative Hearts . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx

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