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Reviewed by Dave Eisenstark for Readers' Favorite
Five women have been abducted off the streets without reason. There are no bodies, no ransom notes, and precious little to go on. Police Detective Matt Brady suspects human trafficking for prostitution, based on the good looks of the missing women, and he's right. A roving gang of kidnappers has targeted the small community of Temple, Texas, between Dallas and Austin, and they won't stop at five abductions. Brady's own situation is "complicated." He's got a girlfriend — maybe two — and a load of guilt for a murdered woman, a case he mishandled. Alan Brenham's Cornered cranks up the tension as Brady and the vicious abductors circle in ever-closer arcs, but never intersect...until Brady's new girlfriend gets involved. Will she help bring the perpetrators to justice, or is she their next victim?
This is a thriller and not a mystery. In Cornered, author Alan Brenham intercuts between Detective Brady and the criminals, keeping the reader apprised of the activities of both. The result is a great deal of tension and suspense, which becomes nearly unbearable in some scenes toward the end. The police work feels authentic; the kind of investigation a small community can muster with limited resources, interacting with the larger law-enforcement world. The authenticity isn't surprising since the author once served on the Temple, Texas, police force. Brady is a likeable character, and so are his colleagues, friends, and Tracy, his latest love interest. The bad guys are as nasty as you can get. The book sticks to the action and the action is exciting. I'm definitely ready for the next Detective Matt Brady tale.