Plot/Idea: In a strong plot filled with action, adventure, and light romance, the author has created a smart thriller. There are many unexpected turns throughout One Clear Shot, with a main character caught between two worlds and with plenty at stake. The fast-moving narrative has lots of tense moments as well as romantic ones, making this novel appealing to a broad audience.
Prose: The narration feels easy and flows well. Even though the time line shifts rapidly, the reader is able to keep up with the pace and understand that the main character is torn between two worlds.
Originality: Despite the presence of familiar tropes, the author offers a dynamic blend of romance and sniper action.
Character Development/Execution: A strong, female character who must decide between her two lives creates strong tension throughout the storyline. The characters have strong connections, making the reader hopeful for the preferred outcome.
Date Submitted: May 05, 2022
While the novel has been categorized as a romance, the story leans on the thriller elements, and readers expecting the conventions and tropes of the romance genre should know that Claire and Will’s relationship develops mostly off page, with the narrative jumping ahead when she chooses her boyfriend over her job, receives a marriage proposal, and enjoys other significant life passages. Instead, One Clear Shot’s focus is on the Green Hat team enticing Claire into assassinating the man who sent her last job off the rails, plus Claire’s sniper skills, amusing tough talk (“I am not here to blow daisies up your butt”), relationship with her killer father, and the challenges of high-stakes espionage while nursing.
Will’s qualms about Claire’s work set up an engaging conflict, especially his reasonable discomfort with what amounts to a semi-legal revenge murder scheme. That’s an interesting role reversal, after decades of fiction about dude-hero spies leaving worried wives at home, though the story–like its hero–ultimately engages more in the specifics of gun safes and lovingly detailed mission briefs than affairs of the heart. One Clear Shot will please readers looking for a thriller with a strong female lead, personal stakes, ethical quandaries, and tense sniper action.
Takeaway: A thriller with romance elements that follows one woman’s attempt to merge two disparate worlds.
Great for fans of: Meg Gardiner, Jessica Clare and Jen Frederick’s Last Hit.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A