Author Brandilyn Collins has a registered trademark for her novels -- "Seatbelt Suspense." And Exposure, her latest work, lives up to the trademark -- with an exclamation point thrown in, too.
Within the first 20 pages or so, a woman is either immobilized by paranoia or being tracked by the most technologically clever stalker ever; a bank is robbed; and a nine-year-old girl runs away from home -- and is kidnapped. The woman, Kaycee Raye, arrives home one night to experience a digital camera taking her picture -- and the photo of a dead man loaded on the camera as well, a photo that will keep returning throughout the story. The bank robbery has some inside help -- but it goes awry and someone has to die. The little girl Hannah is running from an unhappy home, but falls into the clutches of, well, a key character.
And the pace never lets up. This is a story that starts at the top of the roller coaster ride and then -- terror. It is no mean achievement to sustain suspense without a break -- but Collins does exactly that. I kept waiting for a break in the tension, but it didn't happen. Once you're in the roller coaster car, you're in it for the duration, so hang on.
Good thing I didn't read this by the pool or at the beach -- I would have been so absorbed that I would have ignored the sun and been turned lobster red.