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THE CAPTURE by Julie Coulter Bellon

Those who enjoy international intrigue and high action novels won’t want to miss this one. Julie Coulter Bellon’s third book in her Griffin Force Series, The Capture begins with Zaya Altes in a dark, dirty, cold prison cell in Afghanistan where she is beaten almost daily. After six months, she’s ready to give up hope that Julian Bennet and the Griffin Force will rescue her. Julian blames himself for her capture since the terrorist Nazer took her while he was pursuing a personal errand, leaving her alone, even though that errand was purchasing an engagement ring for her.

Always one step too late to rescue Zaya, Julian begins to suspect a mole has infiltrated the small group of people who are aware of his plans. By taking precautions to limit knowledge of his plans to his inside circle only, he is finally successful in locating and rescuing the fellow agent he loves. Only he soon learns she may no longer be capable of returning his feelings. Zaya is a confused, emotional wreck who may need psychological help for a long time. She has physical injuries as well that need to be dealt with. Julian’s suspicion someone is sharing information with Nazer rears its head again once the unit is back in England and it becomes clear the enemy knows their whereabouts and Zaya is in danger of being recaptured or killed. She isn’t the only one at risk. In addition to the members of the Griffin Force and Julian, a small child becomes involved. Both Zaya and Julian face obstacles they don’t feel ready for and make choices that seem impossible to carry out.

It’s not necessary, but certainly enjoyable to read the two previous Griffin Force books before tackling this one. Like the previous books, The Capture deals with a small elite force of men and women fighting terrorism. The unit is independent, but works closely with Britain’s M16. Some of the secondary characters in this book were major characters in the previous books. Zaya and Julian are well-developed characters. The international aspects and realities of terrorism warfare are handled knowledgeably. Without slowing down the action, the author walks the reader through the emotional damage and healing steps both go through during the captive period, being thrust into continuing action, and facing the probable death of someone for whom they feel responsible. Bellon makes the international settings and backgrounds of her books feel real and natural.

Julie Coulter Bellon was born and raised in Canada. She graduated from Brigham Young University, married an American and settled down to raise seven children together in Utah. She loves traveling, reading, writing, and teaching.

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THE CAPTURE (Griffin Force #3) by Julie Coulter Bellon, Published by Stone Hall Books, 252 pages, soft cover $14.99. Also available for eReaders.