A Thin Disguise
Richter Book 2
July 6th, 2021
A Thin Disguise by Catherine Bybee delves into forgiveness, love, and redemption. There are very few authors that can write a riveting mystery with gripping characters. Bybee does both along with humorous dialogue, a lot of action, and romance.
The story has FBI Agent Leo Grant working a protective detail for a child witness against a Russian mob boss engaging in sex trafficking. Olivia Naught, a former assassin and Richter student, is working the same detail for MacBain Security, keeping her eye on the witness and the people protecting her. Although Olivia knows about Leo, he knows nothing about her. They meet on the Las Vegas Strip where Olivia takes a bullet meant for Leo. Following this incident, she suffers amnesia. To protect her and to make Olivia a permanent part of the team, MacBain Security seizes upon the opportunity of her memory loss to show her, with help from the smitten Leo, the new life she could have if she no longer worked alone. As Olivia’s memories return, she feels guilt and unworthy of love because of her past. The team, Leo, and Olivia try to figure out who is responsible for the shooting, while the unlikely pairing of Leo, an FBI Agent and Olivia, a former assassin, navigate their personal feelings and chemistry for each other.
“Leo gave Olivia humanity and heart. He is outgoing, loyal, and assertive, helping Olivia make choices in her life. They had a tug of war going. In the beginning she was in charge, but after she is shot, he gets some control until she gets her memory back. Once that happens, she has an internal battle. Overall, they are two peas in a pot that are attracted to each other. She would not have fallen for him if he was not an FBI Agent. I think she was more of a teaser than Leo.”
Olivia realizes how much she cares for the team and decides to disappear, fearful if she stays, she will jeopardize their lives. She has wit, strength, and intelligence. Bybee does an excellent job is peeling away all the layers of this female protagonist.
“I wanted to redeem Olivia. She was an assassin, but I wanted her to be sympathetic. The only way I could do that is to have her get Transient Amnesia. Once she could not remember anything she became the person who was a student at Richter. She felt connected to the team and knows she can count on them. She allowed herself to feel for others. She was afraid to love because she did not want anything to happen to those she cared about. After she had graduated from Richter, she thought she was being a spy who was good and altruistic. She did not see the sinister side because she was young and naïve. She wanted to connect but would not allow herself to. Olivia is bold, stubborn, and independent.”
The Bybee readers are once again treated to another wonderful story. The team of Claire Kelly, Cooper Lockman, Jax Simon, Sasha and A.J. Hoffman and Neil and Gwen McBain joined by Olivia and Leo are riveting characters. They are not only a team but a pseudo family who care, protect, and do anything for each other. It is a story of characters who survive in spite of the circumstances of their pasts. Hopefully, this series will continue with a lot of future books that have this team of characters. It is one of those series that should have a book out every year.