A Hidden Affair
By Pam Jenoff
Ex State Department intelligence officer Jordan Weiss is on the trail of a college boyfriend, Jared Short, who supposedly died ten years previous. She has discovered he has faked his death and close friends have lied and betrayed her. Tracking Jared to an address in Monaco, she first meets a mysterious woman named Nicole who has a connection to Jared. She promptly disappears. Next she meets Aaron Bruck, an Israeli with his own reasons for finding Nicole. Together, Jordan and Aaron travel Europe, following leads and becoming romantically involved. But what secrets will both uncover about Nicole and Jared and how will Jordan solve the problem of her attraction to Aaron as opposed to her still lingering feelings for Jared?
This the sequel to Almost Home. It is the continuation of the Jordan’s discovery of Jared’s faked death. In the afterward Jenoff says she originally did not intend for a sequel, but felt that the story needed to be completed. This is a romantic mystery with some thriller aspects.
Jordan Weiss: 32, never married, State Department Intelligence officer who resigns her post. Attended Cambridge. Rarely wears jewelry. Dark hair. Jewish. Drinks Scotch. Doesn’t like large expanses of open water.
Aaron ‘Ari’ Bruck: 33, introduces himself as a private investigator, dual citizen of U.S/Israel, square jaw, handsome, blue eyes, gray flecked brown hair, mother Israeli, father Polish. Both parents dead. Only child. Ex army. Wife and daughter killed by a bomb. He feels resentment toward Germany and Austria and even Poland for the atrocities in World War II.
There are supporting characters as always, but these two are the main focus of the story. They are well rounded characters with lots of background information. Not altogether opposites, but different personalities which help them to be attracted to each other. For an intelligence officer, Jordan doesn’t seem too intelligence. She seems unsure of herself and her actions. Perhaps because she’s trying to sort out herself and her emotions but she’s had a decade of missions and I expected her not to come across as so vulnerable.
Aaron’s is a bit more cultured. Conversations tend to be straightforward, to the point, and do not wander. This is a not a ‘talkative’ story.
First person, present tense from Jordan’s POV. Because this is a sequel to Almost Home, there is a lot of narrative and back story in the first few chapters reviewing what happened in the previous book. I felt a as if I was playing catch up and missing vital pieces of information since I had not read the first book. Quick action scenes, but the story doesn’t have the excitement I expected. Nothing unique in sentence narrative. Surface descriptions. I wasn’t fully drawn into the story.