Brenda Novak isn't kidding with this book. Ethan Wycliff is the dazzling religious leader of the Church of the Covenant which has raised suspicious all over town after the attempted stoning of one of their women for sleeping with her husband. Another young woman has gone missing and her parents aren't leaving the Covenanters alone until they find her.
In steps Department 6 a group of retired special forces men and women, police officers, and investigators, where both Rachel and Nate work. Rachel has a massive crush on Nate and they've never had to work the same case because of it. And Nate isn't as indifferent to Rachel as he has lead her to believe. Oh, did I mention that Nate is Rachel's boss?
They immediately travel to Paradise, AZ, an isolated town in the middle of the desert, where the cult is located and Rachel is brought into the cult. The danger is that this group believes in both drugs and indiscriminate sex, and Rachel may have to participate in both in order to fit in.
The people in this cult are C-R-A-Z-Y. I don't know how this book could have been written any better. The descriptions are realistic, the twists and turns are amazing and never what you'd guess, and the way the leaders of the cult are able to attract members just blows my mind. Seriously there are group out there just like this one, and they have got to prey on some weakness in a person's life in order to assert so much control over them.
Consider that the cult was formed by some frat brothers, on a whim, while in the woods one day, and it now has about 200 followers all living inside the compound and following their rules and laws. And that they believe that this is the way to get to heaven. And that they sleep around because it's sanctioned by God. This is a doozy!
BUT, the best part is the on-again off-again relationship between Nate and Rachel. Nate isn't ready for a relationship after the way his last one ended, and Rachel is so over Nate that it doesn't bother her a bit that they're living as man and wife. Or so she says.
White Heat was released today, July 27th, and is the first book in the trilogy. Body Heat will be released in September. And Killer Heat will be released in October. I can't wait to read the next two books.
Very engrossing story and you have to keep telling yourself 'it's just a story' you get so caught up in the events going on and the cult just seems to be so real you have to sit back, take a breath, and tell yourself 'it's only a story'!