Infiltration - Jackie  D. If I were to slot this thriller into my all-time read list it would be somewhere in the middle of the pack.

Tyler is a Marine injured by a roadside bomb in the front lines of Iraq. Wracked by PTSD that's compounded by survivor's guilt, she's been assigned to train a bunch of new recruits in hand-to-hand combat in a CIA training center. She feels an instant and wholly inappropriate attraction to one of her trainees, Brooke.

The first half of the book has mostly Tyler and Brooke going through their training. It was interesting watching them dance around their attraction to each other, although it could have been much better if there was less telling and more showing instead. Despite Tyler's near death encounter on the battlefield, she is almost physically perfect. And so is Brooke. They are also immediately drawn to each other. No imperfections, no juicy conflict, no friction = no excitement. :(

Meanwhile, some guy named Thompson is plotting to steal top-secret information from the CIA stored at the training camp. Having Tyler there in the same facility is just perfect timing, as he's on this personal crusade against her for something that happened in Iraq. The coincidence is a little too convenient to be believable though. Things do pick up when the Thompson guy swings into action. This part was well done and provided some sorely-needed thrills. Unfortunately, despite all the initial build-up, the villain was a huge disappointment. All that cold, calculated planning and he lets himself get carried away like that. After that, the plot was just kinda hit or miss (misses include trainees being allowed/ordered to solve the mystery, CIA computers being out of commission for an extended period, the director's inexplicable decisions, Carlson's hostage taking, Thompson's suicide). There was some dust up near the end, but everything that happened after Thompson's assault felt like the book 'tying up loose ends'.

Would I recommend this book? It depends on what the reader's looking for. Not everyone wants a dour ptsd-wracked lead who mopes half the book away, which thankfully doesn't happen here. Tyler's characterization is well-balanced. Brooke is too perfect though and too forward/assured (cocky?) for a trainee. Her going for what she wants is refreshing though, so there is that. The plot is problematic when gone over with a critical eye, so major suspension of disbelief is required.

Overall, it's good for a fast and light read (despite the subject matter) and will be okay for a nice distraction or passing dead time. But don't expect to feel or think too much.

3.75 stars

P.S. Almost forgot to mention that I really liked the intimate scenes here, something I don't usually pay attention to in thrillers.

ARC provided by Netgalley