Before Nightfall by Rachel Amphlett

3349b-goodreads-buttonPublished: 5th June 2014
Self Published
★   ★   ★   ★   ★   – 5 Stars

“If they move you, they will kill you.”

Kate Foster is quick to forget the advice from a pre-deployment hostage survival course once she’s catapulted into a new job in Eastern Europe, despite the good-looking instructor. But a simple day’s task in Istanbul six months later goes horribly wrong. 

Trapped and alone, her only hope of survival is the man who trained her – ex-FBI Hostage Rescue Specialist, Finn Scott.

For Finn, it’s his worst nightmare. Kate was the one person he almost let into his heart. Haunted by memories of a failed hostage rescue, he is thrust into a situation beyond his control. Now, against a sinister adversary whose ambitions will split apart Eastern Europe, Finn must overcome his demons to prevent an international catastrophe.

And avoid losing Kate forever.

Note: I was given a copy of this book to review

Before Nightfall is an engaging story that keeps you guessing and hoping for a happy ending while offering interesting and unique characters that always have something up their sleeve and secrets to hide.

The story involves Kate, a woman who was looking to challenge herself and applies to work overseas in the Business Development division of a company. For staff safety she must undergoes hostage training, but does not hold up to the standards expected by her interrogator Finn Scott. Despite this, she already has the job, and inexperienced or not, she gets to go overseas with her new boss Ian Hart. Now, six months later when a routine trip in Istanbul gets her kidnapped, she must rely on the information she was told during her training, try to recall anything that will help her stay alive.

As a character Kate is one we are meant to worry about. We are shown and reminded continuously that she may not be able to cope with her situation, that she was unprepared and seemingly unqualified despite her training. While we do see a small part of this, Kate actually comes through quite well, she is strong and clever, and while it doesn’t always show, the strength underneath is quite powerful, even if it is not in the manner we are expecting.

There is a mystery about why Kate has been taken, we are given hints and clues but no real reason at first. When the answers are revealed it soon becomes a complicated and intriguing series of events that reveal so much more than what you first anticipate. What Amphlett does reveal is explained well. The secrets Finn won’t discuss, the half truths given by Hart, the unspoken words of seemingly innocent characters. It’s all there, and all waiting to be unearthed in a truly suspenseful style.

There is enough romance, suspense, and twists to keep you satisfied and it’s a story that keeps its secrets close. I liked that the strong romance elements were kept at a minimum, but I liked the restrained ongoing and obvious unspoken attraction between Finn and Kate. I enjoyed watching them pine for one another without doing anything about it, almost denying to themselves something was even there. Finn’s tormented soul made the storyline interesting away from the kidnapping, while still connecting them together.

I really liked how Amphlett handles the hostage and kidnapping aspects. Kate is portrayed in a way that suits her character well, she is strong, but inexperienced but she is also determined. Amphlett isn’t trying to make her out to be an unbreakable force, but she is not entirely out of her depth either.

With no spoilers I will say that by the end of the book when everything comes to light and everything is revealed, you realise how creative and clever Amphlett has been. It doesn’t go in the direction you think, nor do anyone’s secrets turn out to be what you suspect either. It is a great book that brings enough romance, suspense, action, and uniqueness meaning there is a little something for everyone to enjoy.

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