“WHO THE HELL IS LISA?” A loud voice bounced off the four walls of the squad room. “Lisa Lindy.”
I looked up into the eyes of the young Assistant Special Agent in Charge and nearly swallowed my tongue. It was him—my one-night stand, the lips I missed, my neighbor.
Val chimes in with a helpful and professional reply:
“It’s Liis,” Val said. “Like geese but with an L, sir.”
Boy, that geese thing is going to be really hammered home, isn’t it?
Thomas sees Liis and is like OH SHIT. Then he tells Liis her report is fucking terrible even though she explicitly told us her work is stellar. Liis says as much to Thomas while also remembering how good their sex was. What a complicated love story this is turning out to be.
“Are you able to perform the job assigned to you, Agent Lindy?” Maddox asked.
I didn’t like the way he’d said my name as if it left a bad taste in his mouth.
“Yes, sir.” It felt so damn bizarre to call him sir. It made me feel too submissive. My father’s blood raged in my veins.
So having read the rest of the book because that’s what McGuire books make me do, I can tell you that this line is so weird here because we never get to know Liis’ dad. She calls her parents, like, once, and they’re both really nice. So I have to believe that this is just in reference to the fact her father is Irish, and she’s like, “That old Irish temper!”
“Still, I couldn’t stop myself from what I was about to say. “I would be happy to, sir, if you’ll let me.”
I was sure I heard maybe one or two barely audible gasps in the room. Agent Maddox’s eyes flickered. He took a step in my direction. He was tall and nothing less than menacing, even in a tailored suit. Even though he was more than a foot taller than me and rumored to be lethal with a gun and his fists, my Irish side lured me to narrow my eyes and cock my head, daring my superior to take one more step, even on my first day.
See! I was right! I don’t get why we are supposed to care so much about her Irish side. Are we meant to be like, “Woah woah woah, you told me Liis was Asian. So why is she getting angry about this? Ohhhh she’s part Irish, now she’s allowed to feel things other than a love for math. And that explains why she was at a bar! All adds up now.”
Before Thomas can reply, Agent Marks distracts him. Val helpfully explains he is Thomas’ BFF. Val = Liis’ best friend. Marks = Thomas’ best friend. And now you know that Marks/Val will date.
There is some talk of Benny/Abernathy having leads (ABBY’S DAD??), but then the meeting wraps up because romance > FBI cases. Thomas makes a point to tell Liis again that her report was shitty and to get him some more damn intelligence by the end of the day!
McGuire tries to create an inside joke between Val and Liis to solidify their friendship, but it only almost makes sense:
“Val watched me set the steaming mug on my desk, and then sat in her chair.
I fingered the package of creamer, frowning.
“I’m out of half-and-half, but I do have two-percent in the refrigerator,” she said, a tinge of sympathy in her voice.
I made a face. “No. I hate milk.”
Val’s eyebrows shot up, and then her eyes fell to the floor, surprised at my tone. “Okay then. You’re not a fan of milk. Won’t ask again.”
“No. I hate milk—as in, my soul hates milk.”
This is almost funny, but something about it feels like a badly translated video game. If Val had protested at all when Liis told her she hated milk, it would have made sense if Liis then emphasised they her soul hates milk. But Val didn’t. She immediately was like, “Okay, that’s fine.” McGuire, you fell asleep at the wheel again.
Val somehow immediately figures out that Thomas and Liis had sex.
“He doesn’t scare me,” I said.
“I won’t tell him you said that, or he really won’t stay off your tail.”
I felt my face get hot, enough that Val noticed, and she narrowed her eyes.
“No, I’m not.”
“And now, you’re lying.”
“It’s the coffee.”
Val stared deep into my eyes. “You haven’t even taken a sip. Something I said embarrassed you. Maddox…tail…”
I shifted under her intense stare.
“You live in Midtown.”
“No,” I said, shaking my head. I wasn’t denying my residence but what I knew she would soon discover. Damn having friends who are federal investigators for a living.
“Maddox is your neighbor, isn’t he?”
I shook my head faster, looking around. “Val, no…stop…”
“Fuckity. You’re joking. Maddox is your one-night stand!” she hissed, thankfully keeping her voice to a whisper.”
I know that it’s meant to be like, oh they’re all in the FBI and can crack these crazy love cases so fast, but this is just such a forced way for it to happen. You can kind of connect the dots, but really?
Liis frets about other agents finding out and this preventing her from getting a promotion during her time working for Thomas. She gets so angry about this and the fact that her report is awesome that she goes a’looking for him.
His receptionist (?) Constance is blonde and gorgeous BUT NO HELP TO LIIS. Then Liis finds Val in Mark’s office and pulls her aside. Val confirms that Marks is into her, but sounds like she’s not so sure about him. The side characters sure know how to steal the show in these books, amiright?
Val informs Liis that Thomas is always in the gym at this time and that no one else is allowed in. What a selfish prick! Why the fuck can’t anyone else use the gym on their lunch break just because he wants to do pushups in private?
“The fitness room. He’s there every day at this time.”
“That’s right. You’ve mentioned that. Thanks,” I said.
She called after me, “He hates being interrupted! As in, his soul hates being interrupted!”
No, this “soul hates” thing is not A Thing. Stop.
Thomas is furious at being interrupted during his alone/gym time. But Liis doesn’t back down. She tells him her report is perfect, he disagrees but then can’t give her an example of how it’s terrible. It all leads to this very believable moment:
“Maddox eyed me for the longest time. “You think you could do better?”
“You’re damn right I could.”
“Great. You’re now the supervisor of Squad Five. Give your report to Constance to digitize and then get your shit in your office.”
Nope, it’s not a joke. He really did just promote her.
I wish this was how I could end the post, just on that confusing note, but first we have to work in some vague mentions about Cami and why Thomas never goes home…
“Val laughed once. “He has dinner with the director. He spent Thanksgiving at the director’s house last year. He’s the director’s favorite, and I don’t mean out of the San Diego office, or even out of the offices in California. I mean, in the Bureau. Thomas Maddox is the golden boy. He can have whatever he wants, and he knows it. Everyone does.”
I made a face. “Doesn’t he have a family? Why didn’t he go home for Thanksgiving?”
“Something to do with the ex, or so I hear.”
OMG we know his ex!!! It’s Cami! Guys, remember Cami? She totally makes an appearance or seven later!!!
Okay, now we can end the post.