First the calm. Then the storm…Escaping DC during the dog days of summer is one of the smartest moves Washington Metro Police Lieutenant Samantha Holland ever made. Beach walks aren’t quite as romantic with the Secret Service in tow, but Sam and her husband, Vice President Nick Cappuano, cherish the chance to recharge and reconnect—especially with a scandal swirling around the administration.No sooner are they back home than a fatal drive-by shooting sets the city on edge. The teenage victim is barely older than Sam and Nick’s son, Scotty. As more deaths follow, Sam and her team play beat the clock to stop the ruthless killers. With Nick facing his greatest challenge—one that could drastically change all their lives and even end Sam’s career—will the mounting pressure deepen or damage their bond?
As a foul mouthed police woman who gets into conflict with her coworkers, Sam is utterly believable, especially when she gets decked for investigating one of her own as the suspected sniper behind a wave of murders. But it gets a little harder to visualize this same hard-as-nails cop in her other roles as second lady, wife to Nick, the Vice President of the United States, mama bear to teenage son Scotty and match maker to all her friends. In a previous installment in the Fatal series, Sam’s ex-husband was killed, presumably in a crime masterminded by the President’s son. Now, the Commander-in-Chief may be being impeached and Sam’s husband, Nick, seems poised to become President, a job neither of them is ready to have take their lives over. After a quick vacation, Sam is jolted back to work when a sniper starts picking off random victims in the streets of DC and she and her team count six bodies before they finally get a lead in the case. Over the course of 400 pages, readers are treated to an overwhelming number of romantic scenes between Sam and Nick, barely disguised workplace violence and more references to Sam’s irresistibility than we can count.
While there was an active crime investigation woven through the bulk of the book, it wasn’t the political crime that was described in the book blurb. In fact, after the opening chapter, there was very little mention of the situation that threatened to unseat the president. As a political crime novel, Fatal Chaos isn’t it. However, as an example of women’s fiction, Fatal Chaos fulfills its role and does it effortlessly. The story moves quickly from one episode of the couple’s romantic scene to another, with Nick safe in his role as not just supporter to the President but also as supporter of his crime fighting wife. Some of the subplots proved to be way more engaging than others and my only criticism was at a hinted love triangle / obsession that seemed misplaced in a book that had dedicated so much time to playing up said marriage.
The eventual resolution to the sniper case turned out to be a little anticlimactic but overall, this was a fast paced novel where the main romance was between a happily married couple who wanted to share what they had with anyone who would listen to how in love they were. It worked quite well as a standalone novel and while plot lines from previous books were mentioned, it didn’t feel like the reader needed to be familiar with the series to grasp or appreciate the memories.