UNDETECTED by Dee Henderson might’ve had a few flaws, but I still had a hard time putting it down.
Gina Gray is a genius. A gift she has struggled with her entire life. Socially awkward, Gina has a tendency to put too much pressure on herself, causing her to freeze up in stressful situations. After yet another failed relationship, Gina decides to go to her brother’s and await his return from sea. A submariner for the US navy, Jeff is all the family Gina has, and seems to be the only person who understands her. That is, except for Commander Mark Bishop. Mark, one of Jeff’s best friends, knows Gina and some of the challenges she faces. Gina feels like she can be real with Mark, and trusts him with her sonar discovery that has the potential of changing submarine warfare.
Commander Mark Bishop loves his job. As commander of a ballistic submarine, he has the weight of the world on his shoulders. But he wears the mantle with calm, humility, and a deep-seeded respect for the responsibility given to him. When Gina Gray shows up on base and confides in him what it is she’s discovered, he realizes Gina’s intelligence places her as a security risk, and immediately steps in as her protector.
Both Gina and Mark are at a crossroads in life. Mark is a widower longing to be married again, and Gina is looking for a relationship that won’t let her down. When Jeff suggests Mark date his sister, Mark balks. Gina is ten years his junior, and someone he’s thought of as a younger sister. He ignores Jeff’s suggestion and even helps Jeff find a decent guy for Gina to date. All too soon Mark realizes his feelings for Gina have changed. Now he must prove to her he’s the better man.
My summary can’t even begin to explain the complexity of UNDETECTED. At times the story is bogged down with complicated scientific explanations. But watching the comfortable relationship develop between Gina and Mark makes the sometimes over-the-top details worth it. Though their relationship is not what I would consider passionate, it’s very real. Very deep. Very genuine. The only other negative comment I have is regarding the manner in which Mark and Daniel handle the fact that they’re both in love with Gina. The politeness and willingness to step aside for each other seemed a bit over the top. If they were passionately in love with her, I think there would’ve been a little more jealousy between the two men. Instead, they always seemed to encourage Gina to spend time with their competition. Other than these two negatives, I loved the characters. Gina was very complex; much like Charlotte in UNSPOKEN, and Mark had a soft spoken; but very much in control persona. UNDETECTED was slow in developing these characters, which only added to their depth. This was a very complex book, again, much like UNSPOKEN. Henderson took time to develop characters that were inherently strong on the outside but tremendously vulnerable on the inside. A great combination.