All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

No One Lives Twice – Julie Moffett

on November 13, 2010

I wish I was a computer geek sometimes. I wish that when something happened to my computer, I could fix it effortlessly. And occasionally I’ve wished I could do even funkier things than that! So that’s kind of why I requested this book from NetGalley. It sounded like something I’d like to be involved in!

Lexi Carmichael is almost 25 and works for the NSA – the National Security Agency in Maryland. She’s a mathematical whiz and fairly proficient with computers and although all her work is classified, she’s not really involved in the top echelon of anti-terrorism. She’s a tall, gangly girl who doesn’t have much of a social life, much to the chagrin of her rich, attractive, former beauty pageant winning, socialite mother. Lexi is heading to her parents place for dinner one night to be set up yet again with some “eligible” sort when she is accosted by a large, burly man who demands to know where the papers are. Lexi, confused, has no idea what he’s talking about but the man doesn’t believe her and quickly wedges a gun into her ribs and says that she’d better reconsider and that he knows her best friend, Basia Kowalski, Fed-Ex’d the papers to her. Lexi swears she doesn’t have them and the gun-toting guy gives her a card and says that if they come into her possession, she better call him immediately.

After a very unsuccessful matchmaking dinner on her mother’s part, Lexi escapes back to her apartment where she is immediately grabbed by yet another gun-toting man, who also demands to know where the papers are. Once again Lexi has to swear that she doesn’t have them and doesn’t even know about them. This man, who is of Middle Easter appearance, writes a phone number down on her arm and says that if they do arrive, she better call him first, quick smart. Then he leaves and Lexi realises that her apartment has been completely trashed.

Not long later, her neighbour pops in to say that she signed for a Fed-Ex package for Lexi and gives it to her. It’s the papers – Basia has indeed sent them to her for safe keeping, but when Lexi opens the envelope she finds it’s all in Polish. Basia speaks fluent Polish (among other languages and works as a translator) but luckily, Lexi, through her work at the NSA, knows someone who she can take the papers to and he translates them for her. It’s a very unusual contract between two people, stating that one of them must live in a certain apartment, will receive the use of a car and monthly stipend, but must visit only a certain doctor and several other specific addresses. Other than a small penciled in note down the bottom, presumably by Basia, Lexi’s work colleague cannot see why these papers are so dangerous, other than as mentioned, the contract is not very standard.

Lexi takes the papers to the Zimmerman twins for them to scan onto their hard drive, just in case the gun toting men end up getting the better of her. The Zimmerman twins are brilliant hackers and technological security experts and Lexi is sure that if the papers are safe anywhere in the country, it would be on their hard drive. After all, they are responsible for the security of the computer of the President! The Zimmerman twins used to work at NSA before they were poached and apart from Basia, they are Lexi’s only friends.

With the help of the Zimmerman twins and NSA’s premier hacker/computer security expert who goes only by the handle of ‘Slash’, Lexi suddenly finds out that this Polish contract is tied into a large umbrella fertility company that seems to have branched out into some bizarre surrogacy experiments. That still does not explain the weirdness of the contract and when several other women who have taken part in the same so-called surrogacy arrangement turn up dead with bullet holes, Lexi realises that Basia, who has disappeared, is protecting the last girl left – a Polish one named Judyta and that was her contract that Basia was translating. Also a lawyer who works for the umbrella company has inserted himself into the picture and although Lexi would like to trust him, he does work for the enemy. And it seems that the enemy are doing some very nasty, very illegal things.

I read this book in a couple of hours while the bubba was down for his nap. It started out as a nice simple story about Lexi trying to find her best friend and figure out why everyone wanted the contracts but as you got further into it, it got more and more complicated and in depth. More and more players emerged and at times you were never quite sure who was telling the truth about themselves, who Lexi could really trust and who was a little more than they claimed to be. Although the book is about hackers and the brilliant things they can do, a lot of the details are glossed over and you never get bogged down too much in information and codes and commands. I enjoyed Lexi as a character – she was intelligent enough to put things together but she was also clueless enough to still get into some troubling situations. Her computer abilities are good but she needed a lot of help but given her place of employment it wasn’t implausible that she would know who to go to for the assistance she needed. I thought the Zimmerman twins, Xavier and Elvis were great and actually wished they appeared more! Slash was the one character that kind of bugged me but that’s because I don’t much like characters who are foreign-born and speak English but pepper their speak with random foreign words. Slash did this a lot and it was irritating. I don’t find it realistic either. My in-laws are Sicilian and speak excellent English and obviously, excellent Italian (Sicilian dialect). When I’m talking to them, they only ever speak English and thankfully, never make every fourth or fifth word the Italian one! That would get annoying. They do, when speaking to each other, slip into Italian, but if there is anyone nearby that only speaks English, they lay off it. They consider it rude to speak Italian in front of people who don’t speak the language and wouldn’t just assume that English speakers would understand inserted foreign words, or find it charming.

The ending of this book clearly gave the idea that it was going to be a series, and when I went to the author’s website, there was a section on the Lexi series and a bit about the main players and a bit of a blurb about the second book. Even though it was cheesy, I got into this book and came to like quite a few of the characters, so hopefully I can get the next installment.

No One Lives Twice is published by Carina Press, the Harlequin e-Publisher and is therefore only available as an e-Book currently.


Book #92 of my 100 Book Challenge

** I received this novel as an eGalley from the publisher in exchange for a review

2 responses to “No One Lives Twice – Julie Moffett

  1. kel says:

    Sounds pretty good! sometimes a little cheese is just what you need! lol! great blog!!

  2. Great website, keep up the hard word.

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