Ice-cold assassin Catalina Bennett wants a Faberge egg. A CIA funded venture-capital investment firm wants to get the mysterious product they’ve been funding. Mother, Catalina’s handler, wants her dead. CIA operative Jim Campbell wants to catch her. And all her father Frank, a retired assassin, wants is for his daughter not to shoot his neighbors.
The Family Girl introduces Catalina Bennett as one of the deadliest and most effective assassins in the world, bred to kill by a quiet and secluded Sicilian Famiglia. Her success is illustrated by an extensive collection of art and Christian Louboutin shoes. Her latest job seemed like an easy way to procure a fabulous Faberge egg for her extensive collection, but Catalina ended up opening Pandora’s Box when she learned that the mark was an asset for ICtech, a venture-capital investment firm funded by the CIA. Soon she is on the run, being hunted by the veteran intelligence agent, Jim Campbell.
She takes refuge with her father in the suburbs of Chicago, and discovers that dealing with the neighbors can be just as dangerous as dodging bullets. Using her network of connections, spearheaded by the imposing Eddie Washington – her childhood friend turned arms dealer – Catalina begins putting together the pieces of the puzzle. Her journey takes her from Chicago to New York, Washington D.C., and finally Miami, where she aims to settle all her affairs… or go out with a bang.
I had some trouble with this book initially: too many characters were introduced all at the same time, and the action moved to several places and times so quickly that I really had difficulty following it all, and had to go back and re-read some passages to make sure I had all the actions and characters straight in my head. Seeing this, I put it aside for a while, and seriously thought of never finishing this book. But then I decided to give it another shot, and now I’m glad I did.
The Family Girl mixes an action-packed, highly engaging story with a killer main character (sorry, I just couldn’t resist!). The mystery itself is not particularly challenging, since we find out pretty early on exactly what type of mess Catalina has gotten herself into and who betrayed her. Seeing how she would go about to get her revenge, now that was entirely worth the read. Catalina is smart, beautiful and ruthless, all qualities I love in a main characters. Unfortunately, I found her quite difficult to connect with, and even when I did, only on a very superficial level. I just couldn’t develop that deep bond with a character that makes me love them forever after. That being said, I did like her enough to be rooting for her all through the book.
Overall, this was a light and entertaining read, perfect for passing a few hours pleasantly. None of the characters are particularly memorable (most of the time, I felt like secondary characters were just sort of there in the background, and didn’t really have a lot to add to the story), but there are some really funny scenes and the storyline is original.