"If you enjoy Elizabeth Peter’s Vicky Bliss series or Romancing the Stone, Elusive has the same mix of mystery, international travel, and light romance.
Zoe Hunter loves living on the edge. Free-spirited and spontaneous, she’s built a life stringing together various freelance gigs that keep her bank account barely in the black.
But when her ex, Jack, goes missing along with several million dollars from his business and the FBI zeros in on her as a person of interest, Zoe’s life goes from delightfully unpredictable to downright frightening.
Plunged into a world of fake identities, deception, and murder, she’s afraid to trust anyone. Zoe impulsively skips town in a search for answers that takes her from Las Vegas to Italy, but instead of tracking down answers, she only uncovers more questions.
Who was Jack? Is he dead or did he fake his disappearance? And, what was he mixed up in—art theft, the mafia, espionage, or all three?"
Elusive can be read by anyone. There aren't any Rated-R content, and it is mild in violence. Mild compared to The Bourne Identity (the movie, not the book). There are some death scenes, but they aren't too eye-opening. I can't speak for the rest of the series, but I can speak for Elusive.
Zoe Hunter is like Marie from The Bourne Identity (the movie, and I will always be talking about the movie instead of the book). She is thrown into an espionage game without a single clue or tool. The only best bet she has is her ex-husband, Jack, who isn't exactly the most upfront person ever. Also, he disappeared into the wind, which certainly does bring much complications to Zoe's problem. Zoe, though a bit naive, is quick to grasp the difference between life and death. With the help from Jack, she certainly can navigate the roads better.
Jack, Zoe's ex-husband, has a very strict schedule. Lucky for him, the day he decides to ignore his schedule is the day he got lucky. (Why am I thinking about Mr. And Mrs. Smith? Zoe Hunter is clearly not an assassin and neither is Jack.) Jack strongly reminds me of Jason Bourne, mixed up in things he shouldn't even be involved in. But he has to be dragged back in, and his life (and his ex-wife) is at stake. He is a decent character, though I wish there is much more depth in him. Zoe Hunter is much better (as a character).
The book has a strong plot. Jack is set up for a mysterious fall (which will definitely end his career as a businessman), and his business partner is dead. Though there are some awkward turns on the plot, it has good moments. Besides, I applaud the author for actually forcing the characters to put on disguises. Only God knows how Jason Bourne manages to walk into the train station without someone recognizing him (I'm still talking about the movie). (Of course, it is a movie, so Bourne gets away with it. Same thing with James Bond and his overused name.)
The ending is quite interesting, and I'm surprised by it. It will leave many readers unsatisfied, but I'm not very interested in reading the next book (mostly because I don't have time). But if I could, I would probably read the next book in this series.
Overall, Elusive is an entertaining Espionage novel. Jason Bourne fans may not like it, because (the narrator isn't Jason Bourne or doesn't look anything like Matt Damon or) Zoe Hunter isn't a spy.
Rating: Three out of Five