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Pia is a hands-on person and against her father's advice decides to jump in the deep end and join one of her teams providing security to a wealthy Swiss banker at an outdoor party in Geneva. While Pia spots a possible assassin she is too late to stop him killing the banker. She chases and tackles the assassin and the local police arrest and handcuff him with cable ties. Within minutes someone cuts the ties to allow the assassin to escape and he quickly kills two more prominent Swiss bankers.
Pia and her team then chase the assassin to find the "Le Directeur" of an international ring pirating and ransoming oil tankers off Cameroon. The chase takes Pia and her small team to the jungles of Cameroon and back to Geneva and Vienna. All along the way Pia is shot at and shoots back (with anaesthetic needles), tackles, fights and swims her way out of danger, even though she has no training or military skills.
Seely James has produced a a new type of kick-ass heroine, very different from the experienced, trained and motivated heroines like Lizbeth Salander (Stieg Larsson), Vanessa Michael Munroe (Taylor Stevens) and Jet (Russell Blake). Pia's only martial skills are some boxing training to improve her soccer agility.
This is completely escapist over-the-top stuff, which verges on the unbelievable with Pia surviving so many dangerous situations where she really should have been killed. While the writing was addictive in keeping my attention, these situations and the complexity of following the numerous characters (many with several aliases) and the final outcome left me a bit stunned and overwhelmed.
Rating a book that I basically enjoyed which had some worrying flaws is very difficult. I basically gave it 3.5 stars. My head said that it should be 3 stars, but my heart (which also realises that so many readers out there can cope with and love over-the-top stories) would opt for 4 stars. As this is a first novel I went with my heart and gave it 4 stars.
Would I read another book about Pia - probably yes, but I would hope that the Seely James gives Pia some martial arts and military type training before pushing her off the deep end again.