This is an easy read and only 252 pages in paperback. Beyond that it has problems. I chose to read because it is set in a area I know from visiting: San Juan Island near Bellingham, WA. My sister lives near Bellingham.
Even though the cover shows praise such as "Venus Diamond is...a rare gem." --Janet Evanovich, I can't see it. Venus Diamond, a federal agent shows little acuity for her chosen profession. She figures nothing out, puts herself in needless danger, sounds off in the face of facing death, and only occasionally does something on the heroic side. She does stumble into situations which she hardly resolves and usually gets hit in the head.
In the end it gets tied up in a pretty ribbon, but that is in the last chapter when the author decides to tie everything up.
There is a lot of repetitive dialogue and gratuitous information about endangered species, much of which has little to do with the poorly connected plot. Characters show up and then are not heard from over time, eventually revealing nothing of import to the through story and nothing of interest in the subplot.
But I read it all the way through. It held my interest because of the setting and the subject: shenanigans surrounding exotic species, scientists, environmentalists and law enforcement.
I am not a published writer, but I am pretty sure that I could rewrite the book with great improvements sans gratuitous scenes and poorly thought through sequences.
How about this scene: Near the end Venus roars toward the hideout on her Harley. At the end of the trail she turns off her machine and stashes it in the bushes. She can hear voices. At the same time she hears hellicopter sounds from another of her teams. She thinks the helicopter is too loud and will scare off the criminals. One would have to surmise that a Harley riden close enough to hear the criminals voices would certainly be close enough to alert the bad guys. This is never mentioned. One might suspect the author is writing a screenplay. It would make a few good sequences for a James Bond movie; and the plot holds together about as well as a Bond movie. Hopefully Bond is better in combat and in putting two and two together.
There is some spoiler in this paragraph, stop here if you choose.
Check this out: The caretaker of the exotic animal compound, who knows every inch of the habitat grounds, makes a bad mistake in transporting three important mother cats out of the range into the interiour of the island and releasing them. He claims he didn't know the importance of these cats to the research. Later we see that he knows the names of the cats as he searches for them near their homes. No one in the story gets suspicious about all the information here that doesn't gell.
Dr. Hannah Strindberg, a scientist who runs the secretive Breedhaven project on Helix Island on Puget Sound, is killed in a nightclub fire that is proved to be arson. Apart from her brilliant work in the harvesting, freezing and cloning of the embryos of endangered species, Strindberg was known to Fish and Wildlife agent Venus Diamond as her boss's closest colleague and companion.
Newly married and unbelievably depressed, Venus cuts her leave of absence short and undertakes the investigation. At its center is Breedhaven, a controversial project with many detractors, and a plan too audacious to be publicly revealed. Dr. Strindberg's valuable lifesaving work may well continue...if Venus agrees to an advanture that will alter her life in the most unexpected ways. But not before a murderer strikes again, making a determined effort to destroy the scientist's legacy forever...as well as those attempting to keep it alive.