Hidden Agenda, by Lisa Harris (Revell, 2015)
Hidden Agenda is book 3 in Lisa Harris’ Southern Crimes series, and it follows the events in book 2 (Fatal Exchange) by about a week.
I heartily encourage you to begin with book 1, Dangerous Passage, and if you plan to do so, don’t read the rest of this review.
Hidden Agenda contains a massive spoiler for the first two books.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
And now for my review:
Contrary to what his family believes, Michael Hunt is not dead. He’s been working undercover for the past eight months, gaining evidence on the leader of an international drug cartel. Now his life’s in danger and he has to rely on the daughter of the man he swore to bring down. Will he live long enough to see his family again?
Michael isn’t the only one searching for the truth.
Olivia Hamilton is after the truth, as well. She’s a journalist. It’s what she does. So how can she have been so oblivious to a lifetime’s hints that her father isn’t simply a successful businessman? Will the truth be worth the cost?
Hidden Agenda is a chase novel, with Michael, Olivia, and her brother Ivan only a few steps ahead of their pursuers. Wounded, Michael must get them to safety. He can’t let his attraction to Olivia distract his focus.
This is more than a chase novel, though, and more than a romance. Michael has been undercover too long, and he’s forgetting who he really is. Olivia and Ivan have lost part of their identities with the revelation of their father’s true nature, and more grief strikes as they flee.
These three characters find their faith shaken and tested by the evil they encounter. They discover that belief isn’t about pat answers or happy endings, but about trusting God in the middle of the worst that life can throw at them.
I appreciated the character of Ivan, who is deaf. He’s resourceful and possibly brilliant, but Olivia has mothered him since their mother died, and at 19 he needs to break free. Ironically, it’s Olivia’s own experiences with Michael’s overprotective streak that help her learn how her brother feels – and to give him his space.
Well-plotted and tautly-written, Hidden Agenda is a fun read and a great finish to a series that just kept getting better. I’ve enjoyed “meeting” the Hunt family in these three stories.
Bestselling author Lisa Harris has over 30 novels and novella collections to her credit. She and her family serve as missionaries in Africa, where she also runs the ECHO Project.
[Review copy provided by the publisher for an honest review.]