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Entrapment by Kylie Brant
(Silh. Int. Mom. # 1221, $4.75, PG) ISBN 0-373-27291-X
****
Entrapment is a fun book to read! Engaging warm characters, a twisted plot that moves quickly conceived by a skilled writer, all make this one special. This second novel in the series entitled “The Tremaine Tradition” is far, far better than the first one, principally because the characters are so engaging.

Sam Tremaine is an international attorney, a current euphemism for CIA spy. Reared by his grandmother after the death of his parents, he is imbued with the “old fashioned “ traits of Honor, Duty and Loyalty. The CIA has targeted Hans Oppenheimer as the purveyor of arms to terrorists and other nefarious deeds, and Sam has been delegated to obtain the proof from the vault deep within the secured Austrian fortress/home of the target.

Apparently lacking all the skills necessary to clandestinely break in, loot the vault and leave without capture, Sam starts his search for Europe’s most infamous thief, nicknamed by the press, “le petit voleur.” Because Oppenheimer is his target, he gradually notices that “the little thief” has focused on Oppenheimer for a decade. Armed with this novel approach he finally deduces that Juliette Morrow is the thief.

Arranging a chance meeting at a consulate party he is stunned by how attractive and unflappable Juliette is. Confronting her with his deductions brings merely laughter on her part. Planting a tracing device on her, Sam is able to literally catch Juliette in the act when later she is robbing a museum by dark of night.

And now he can deal. His fellow operatives have kidnapped Juliette’s grandmother and Sam offers to turn over Juliette’s very thick file of criminal activity, return her grandmother to their home in Paris, and to give Juliette back the necklace he had pocketed from her when he confronted her in the museum. All this in exchange for her help in breaking into Oppenheimer’s home.

As they work toward their goal together, Sam is in a perpetual state of lust with Juliette. Or at least he just hopes it is lust, since she represents the antithesis of all his values. A thief with no apparent morality who steals for personal gain only, is not someone he can intellectually build a relationship with.

Brant paces the sexual tension well with the escalating tension of the caper. Neither Sam nor Juliette lack sophisticated breaking and entering skills or equipment, and even that part of the story has a freshness to it.

In Entrapment, Kylie Brant does so many different things at once, and at so many different levels. It is therefore critical that the layers be integrated well; rest assured, Brant is a very accomplished author and this will be remembered as one of her best books.

--Thea Davis


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