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Hailey's War    by Jodi Compton order for
Hailey's War
by Jodi Compton
Order:  USA  Can
Shaye Areheart, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Jodi Compton, author of The 37th Hour and Sympathy Between Humans brings fans another breathtaking read with a very flawed and engaging heroine in her new thriller - secrets and violence keep the reader's interest strong throughout Hailey's War.

As the story opens, twenty-three year old Hailey Cain works as a bike messenger in San Francisco after washing out (for a mysterious reason) as a cadet at West Point just two months before graduation. Readers soon learn that she has also had to flee Los Angeles after she accidentally killed the small son of hood celebrity Luke Marsellus, when the child suddenly ran out in front of her car. Hailey has two friends in her dangerous world - her beloved cousin Cletus 'CJ' Mooney, who surprised friends and family with his enormous success in the music business; and veterana gang leader Serena Delgadillo.

It's Serena who draws Hailey into deep trouble by asking her to escort a young woman, Nidia, back from the U.S. to Mexico. Unfortunately, there's more to Nidia's desire to leave California than either Hailey or Serena knows, and that missing information results in Nidia being kidnapped and Hailey shot and left for dead by professionals. After she recovers, Hailey becomes a woman on a mission - to get Nidia back from her abductors. To assure the backup the job needs from Serena's homeboys, Hailey agrees to being jumped in to the gang.

Though she succeeds in recovering Nidia, this is not the end of Hailey's problems, as the kidnappers are hot on their trail with unlimited resources. Hailey's resolution is a most surprising one and it unfortunately still leaves her in the line of fire. When eventually asked to explain why she did all this, Hailey can only refer her questioner to the Book of Jonah. Hailey's War is an unusual and gripping thriller with a unique heroine - don't miss it!

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