Intent to Hold – Thonie Hevron

(Reviewed by JD Jung)

“But she’d killed a man. Even though he was inches away from stabbing a deputy, it instigated a worse series of incidents that had almost killed her. The last months had drained her in ways she never knew existed and allowed the insidious contamination of betrayal to gain a hold in her. Faith in the system she’d worked for and defended had ground away. When things went south, the department hadn’t protected her. They’d abandoned her to a space that made her feel like an outsider.”

Meredith, a police officer for the Sonoma County PD, also didn’t get the support of her superiors when she was stalked by an obsessed superior court judge, who later arranged the murder of her husband. Her partner, Nick Reyes was the only one who had her back and even saved her life. That is why she felt obligated to help him now.

Nick’s wife Angela, left him and went back to her family in Bucerias, Mexico. She contacted him a few times, requesting a divorce. However, months later, she called to beg him for help. She appealed to him to come to Mexico to try and negotiate the release of her kidnapped brother, Rigo.  A divorce attorney with a lavish lifestyle, Rigo had a passion for married women and may have made enemies along the way. Or maybe it’s kidnap for ransom? Anyway, her family can’t trust the Mexican police as the honest ones have a reputation for being inept, and the others are probably on the take.

Once in Mexico, Meredith and Nick are constantly risking their lives fending off multiple culprits while trying to rescue Rigo. As more players become involved, the motive becomes murky, and they slowly learn that there’s a lot more going on with the family, especially Angela. They also learn that there are no rules in Mexico, so they have to think differently than they do in Sonoma County. As more players get involved, Meredith and Nick realize that they can’t trust anybody. So why don’t they seek the help from those they don’t trust? This doesn’t mean that Nick and Meredith are always on the same page, but they understand each other more than anyone else does.

At first, it seemed far fetched that Meredith would go to Mexico to help her partner with his soon-to-be ex-wife’s family. Then again, author Thonie Hevron has years of experience in law enforcement, so she has a better grasp on police loyalty than I do. In any event, I got past that and enjoyed the wild ride. Intent to Hold is an exciting crime novel that I couldn’t put down. Even though there’s action on almost every page, the characters’ emotions and personality aren’t compromised. This isn’t the first installment in the series and  I’m looking forward to reading more about these detectives.

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