In Felix Francis latest mystery "Triple Crown", the 6th solo novel of his career, his main character Jeff Hinkley, an investigator with the British HoIn Felix Francis latest mystery "Triple Crown", the 6th solo novel of his career, his main character Jeff Hinkley, an investigator with the British Horseracing Authority or BHA crosses the pond to help with an investigation of American horse racing. Felix Francis has honed his craft. While his novels are not as immediate, as in your face as the earliest Dick Francis novels, Felix Francis obviously knows the sport, discussing the drugging of horses with an expert eye. While his wording is still a little too much "informational" and not "conversational", his novels have been getting better. "Triple Crown" may be his best to date. Moreover, his hero, Jeff Hinkley, is in many ways, much like his father's heroes, stoic, calm in the face of danger, unflappable and smart. And that is high praise from this reader. One small gripe is that Francis makes a small amount of snide little comments about America and the American system always showing England in a better light. I should have been left off the page.
Jeff Hinkley’s friend Tony, the Deputy Director of FASCA, an American agency tasked with stopping corruption in sports is having a problem. FASCA’s raids on the horse racing community are being compromised. Suspected drug using horse trainers have cleaned shop, destroyed evidence, and shipped horses out of state just before a raid of their facility. Tony suspects an informant in his ranks. He wants Hinkley, who is unknown in America, to use his skills to root out the mole. Hinkley comes to America just as the first leg of the Triple Crown in Kentucky is about to be run. He is there as an “observer” to watch his American compatriots do their jobs. But the first raid, planned to defeat the mole, again does not work out. And worse, something goes wrong right before the Kentucky Derby, right under FASCA’s nose. Three of the favorite three year old colts all get sick and have to pull out of the race, leaving the race wide open for the fourth favored horse, Fire Point, who wins. It all seems like too much of a coincidence to Hinkley.
Hinkley goes to work as a groom for George Raworth, the trainer for Fire Point, at Belmont. Convincingly, Francis’s description of the American system of employing grooms, their working conditions, the atmosphere of the “back office” of an American stable seems spot on. He knows the fodder fed to the horses, how grooms are paid, fed and how they care for the horses. Verisimilitude is clear.
Hinkley’s investigation has broadened. He soon suspects Raworth of drugging many of his horses illegally, but also of being instrumental in somehow getting the horses sick at the Kentucky Derby. Meanwhile, Hinkley has gotten unwanted attention from another groom Diego, who wants to stop Hinkley from getting involved with Maria, an attractive assistant.
So while Hinkley is trying to learn about Raworth’s machinations, and uncover the mole, he is also having to deal with Diego’s pranks and attacks. It makes his investigation harder. While the Diego subplot seems tacked on, it will inevitably have some connection.
It all comes to a head at the Belmont, when Hinkley comes face to face with the mole. It will be a showdown worthy of any mystery.
But the actual ending seemed a little hit and miss. While a bad guy is dealt with in a manner fitting to the Francis oeuvre in that his punishment is somewhat personal, the law gives a free pass.
Meanwhile, Hinkley is left without a clear path. I guess it was setting up a possible sequel. ...more
E.G. Rodford’s first George Kocharyan mystery “The Bursar’s Wife” is a an excellent private detective novel in which Rodford focuses both on the sorriE.G. Rodford’s first George Kocharyan mystery “The Bursar’s Wife” is a an excellent private detective novel in which Rodford focuses both on the sorrid details of the mystery and crimes being committed while also slowly unraveling Kocharyan’s life and past. Rodford is excellent at tying the strands of this multilevel story together and imbues the novel with interesting observations of life, prototypical gumshoe factors spiced up with humor and pathos. And sex. Sex is a big part of the story.
Kocharyan is in many ways an Everyman, but with some atypical issues. 40ish, his father in a nursing home suffering from a dementia like illness, abandoned by his wife, who has moved to Greece with her lesbian lover, Kocharyan is plotting some way to hook up with his attractive downstairs neighbor while perusing the internet’s pornographic enticements.
Rodford is expert at leaving little bread crumbs in the story, tidbits of facts that sometime later have some meaning. While Kocharyan untangles the threads of the story, Rodford slowly reveals details of his life, his ideas, how he thinks, and how other characters think.
But there is also violence and threats, people hurt who we learn to care about. Rodford does not have any wasted space, no thread that somehow does not have some meaning in the end. The clues are hidden, but they are there.
Kocharyan barely supports his practice by investigating cheating spouses and welfare cheats in England. As we enter the story, he is informing mousy Al Greene, a cuckolded spouse about his wife Nina’s perfidy. When in sweeps Sylvia Booker, the attractive wife of the Bursar of Morley college, where Kocharyan’s father used to work before being unceremoniously dumped. Booker wants Kocharyan to spy on her daughter Lucy who is seeing an older man. But before he can even do any investigating, the cops come and pick him up to go to the scene of a murder – Nina has been strangled in a car. DCI Brampton wants information but arrests Greene for the murder of his wife.
Kocharyan is not convinced. A bread crumb.
Rodford teases out the investigation. Kocharyan’s assistant’s son Jason, who goes to school with Lucy, finds out that Lucy has a boyfriend. Kocharyan follows her one day when she is picked up by a chauffeur driven limousine to a mansion owned by Quinton Boyd, a wealthy former student at Morley.
Why is she meeting him? Its not for what we think.
Kocharyan is later is on a date with his hot downstairs neighbor, but on seeing Lucy, drunk and about to be attacked, abandons the date to save her. She reveals that Boyd just wants to talk to her.
So why is Sylvia Booker worried?
Kocharyan’s investigation uncovers that Boyd is a nasty piece of work with a habit of employing prostitutes and videotaping sexual acts.
Then Sylvia Booker’s husband commits suicide. He also knew Boyd.
And Kocharyan learns that Sylvia Booker and Boyd were students together at Morley, where, surprisingly, DCI Brampton knew both of them. They were in a club together. A movie club. Boyd’s first venture in amateur pornographic film making.
So why is Boyd seeing Lucy, and if Sylvia knows him, why is she not doing something to stop it.
As Kocharyan tries to unravel the tangled tale, he is threatened, Jason is attacked and Lucy is scared.
And all along Sylvia Booker knows a lot more than she is telling about Boyd and Kocharyan’s father and even Boyd’s motivations. The secrets that you keep closest are the secrets that hurt the most.
And don’t forget Nina Greene and her murder left out there in the beginning.
E. G. Rodford’s debut George Kocharyan mystery is that special private investigation novel where the pleasure is in watching a smart detective discover the truth, while at the same time letting the reader learn about the hero and the cast of characters. Well worth the read. ...more
As a result of the massive hurricanes that have hit New York City recently, Amtrak's trains tunnels were damaged by flooding, subways were impacted anAs a result of the massive hurricanes that have hit New York City recently, Amtrak's trains tunnels were damaged by flooding, subways were impacted and the lower reaches of Manhattan were imperiled. Where New York City political establishment had thought that just closing the subways would be enough to prevent problems, it is now weighing more drastic actions to stop the next tidal surge.
In Lev A.C. Rosen's new novel Depth, he imagines a Noahian flood caused by global warming, that sweeps away the entire Eastern seaboard of America. However a million New Yorkers still live in flooded Manhattan, all above the 20th floor of the giant skyscrapers there. Bridges connect buildings, boats travel between towers, and the people try not to slide off slick walkways into the dark waters below. Rosen's setting is evocative and eerie, the words making a sharp image in your brain. Manhattan remains a liberal bastion in a country controlled by the more conservative center. Rosen's flooded Manhattan is a great idea, dark, foggy and evocative.
It's too bad that the rest of the novel does not follow suit. The murder mystery and treasure hunt at the center of the novel is very intricate, overly so. Maybe because Rosen spends so much time building up the atmosphere. Or maybe because Rosen flabs up the story in an attempt to provide a background to his main character while also adding in extra wrinkles to the central mystery to make it more involved. While fleshing out the central character is a good idea and adding red herrings, tricks, dead ends, and other contrivances is mother's milk to a mystery, Rosen's novel is a glass house carnival ride. What looks like the clear path is just one more blocked door. On the plus side, Simone Pearce pierces the fog of the story and figures out the solution in a creative manner. She may be a very good character.
Simone Pearce is a private detective making her living snooping. Hired by the wife, Linnea St. Michel, Simone snaps pics of Henry St. Michel, the suspected conniving husband who is meeting with a blonde, but not for the horizontal mambo as he appears to be giving her cash. The blonde is not only meeting up with Linnea’s husband, but many of Manhattan’s well to do. It seems that there is a coral sculpture by a famous artist that is being peddled by the blonde.
Simone is friends with Caroline, the scion of a powerful New York family and the Mayor’s assistant. Caroline steers Simone to DeCostas, who thinks that there may be a secret tunnel connecting Manhattan to the mainland in one of bigger skyscrapers in New York. He wants to test them. But he has a hot bod and Simone is not afraid to sample his goods.
But then Simone sees Henry St Michel get killed and becomes a prime suspect of the police. Her ex lover is a cop who wants to help her, but Kluren, Simone’s father’s ex partner suspects Simone of wrongdoing. Meanwhile, Simone does not know who to trust as she catches both DeCostas and her friend Caroline meeting with the blonde. Then Linnea disappears and Simone suspects foul play. The coral sculpture holds the key.
Rosen’s 260 page novel is full of possible suspects who may want the sculpture -- Mr. Ryan, a rich businessman, Pastor Sorenson, the head of a mainland congregation, Caroline’s family, Lou Freth, Henry’s partner, Trixie, Henry’s mother, and Dash, another detective, who is not afraid to get his hands dirty. Add in Simone’s enlightenment about her mother’s disappearance and the slim volume bulges at the seams.
The denouement returns to the dark waters surrounding Manhattan, but you will have to be a strong swimmer to get to their depths. Depth is a good book, but too full of itself to escape its own deep undercurrents. Swim on. ...more
A Murder of Mages by Marshall Maresca is a splendid fantasy / mystery / crime and murder blend from the author of the very good "Thorn of Dentonhill".A Murder of Mages by Marshall Maresca is a splendid fantasy / mystery / crime and murder blend from the author of the very good "Thorn of Dentonhill". Not too heavy on the magical elements, this intelligent cop fantasy features a pair of smart detectives on the hunt for a murderer. Minox Welling, an untrained mage, who comes from a multi-generational cop family and really investigates is the main detective. Unlike some of the other officers, he solves crimes rather than sweeping them under the rug with a convenient, but wrong answer. He has problems with his magic. His new partner is Satrine Rainey, the first female investigator in Inemar, who has more than a few tricks up her sleeves. She is a very convincing, honorable and true character that you really want to read about. One of Maresca's best traits is his ability to infuse his characters with real lives and back stories. This is a really good book.
Satrine Rainey is used to deception and trickiness. She grew up on the gritty south streets of Inemar known as Tricki Trini, where she had to constantly fight to merely survive. An unknown father, a derelict mother, gangs, criminals and Idre Hoffer, a despicable girl, who tormented and bullied Satrine, were only some of challenges that she faced. Only the strong and the smart survived that life.
Plucked from that terrible life by Druth intelligence because of her resemblance to a dead enemy princess, she was trained by them and assumed the princess's life and provided intelligence to her country about an enemy. But that was some time ago, and most of the people in Inemar think she is dead.
Now she is living on the nicer side of Maradaine, the mother of two girls, one a fourteen year old, and it is them, and the fact that her constabulary husband has been attacked and beaten so bad that he is an invalid, that has led her to brazenly travel south across the Upper Bridge back into Inemar. Rainey needs money to live so her daughters do not have to live like she did when she was a young girl. Rainey claims to the head of the Inemar Constabulary and provides a forged note stating that she has been appointed an investigator - with its more significant salary - based on her intelligence work background. Her lie is believed and she becomes an investigator.
She joins Welling just as a cunning murderer brazenly kills a trained mage on a public street. While Rainey may need the money to help her family, she soon proves herself to Welling, showing a wit and intelligence that he never found in any of his former partners. In a confrontation with a gang who are accosting a young constabulary page, she also shows a flair for hand to hand combat as well. Rainey is a force to be reckoned with.
Maresca does not only focus on Rainey's life and her past, which all comes out in bits and pieces during the story, but also explores Welling's problems with his magic, which he does not know how to control but is unwilling to join a Circle of Mages, who will control him.
Welling and Rainey will make a convincing team in the hunt for the murderer, who will not stop killing until he is stopped. Several additional murders will occur, each brazenly staged. The murderer has magical weapons that work on mages.
When Welling becomes the next intended victim, it will be up to Rainey to figure out the killer's identity and try to rescue Welling before its too late.
This is the first tale about the Maradaine Constabulary. Maresca is writing another. We cannot wait. ...more
Dick and Felix Francis's horse racing mysteries are still a good read. The authors combine a knowledge of everything horse racing with, an amateur invDick and Felix Francis's horse racing mysteries are still a good read. The authors combine a knowledge of everything horse racing with, an amateur investigator, a jockey, ex-jockey or owner, among others, who somehow stumbles into a plot against friends or horse racing and has to out man, outwit and outlast the bad guys. It's a horseracing episode of Survivor. Francis knows the sport, knows the pre-racing rituals of the jockeys and the trainers.
In Felix Francis's latest mystery novel, "Damage", Jeff Hinkley, a professional investigator for the august British Horseracing Authority matches wits against a cunning blackmailer, who is somehow doping horses at several major races. The blackmailer wants $5,000,000 to stop. Hinkley's bosses on the BHA, a swath of peerage and big money want to keep the plot hidden from the public, afraid of the repercussions for the BHA and for horseracing, but when they refuse to pay, the blackmailer escalates. Horses are hurt. Jockeys are poisoned. Hinkley is hurt. The BHA must find a way to find the blackmailer before he can break the BHA.
Hinkley, who served in intelligence organizations, is a capable investigator and with his elderly boss, and ex spy, set out to trap the blackmailer, when he goes for the money. If the first trap does not work, then maybe a more cunning trap will.
At the same time as investigating this plot, Hinkley is trying to help his sister's stepson, who has busted for drug dealing. Quentin, Hinkley's brother in law, a powerful member of the bar, is afraid that his son's crime could thwart his rise to a judgeship and claims it was a frame job. Hinkley agrees to help, and is soon involved in tracking down a witness.
Francis adds a couple of other subplots -- an attempt to give Hinkley more depth or add gravitas to the story. Hinkley's sister has cancer and its touch and go, and Hinkley faced with her mortality starts to look hard about his life with his girlfriend -- is he is ready to marry his long term girlfriend.
Neither of these subplots add to the story. This is still a novel about stopping a criminal.
Long time readers of the Francis horse racing mystery novels will still be reined in....more
CB McKensie's "Bad Country" is a private investigation detective story set in the bleak Southwest about murder and revenge. This is an unapologetic loCB McKensie's "Bad Country" is a private investigation detective story set in the bleak Southwest about murder and revenge. This is an unapologetic look at a rural and inhospitable slice of America and the lawmen, criminals, hustlers, murderers, killers, families and lovers, who live there. Rodeo, who has family in the area, knows many of the people, including the sheriff and his lusty daughter, who used to be Rodeo's lover before he left her. Its a poor area, full of an eye for an eye justice. This is the American West left off the movie screen. The DOTA's (denizens of Tuscon Arizona) are a motley and colorful lot. There is a political race brewing and a rash of murders. The pacing is unhurried, as CB McKenzie peels away the layers of the society to reveal an area and people. There are honorable men and killers and sometimes the line between each is very small.
Rodeo Garnet, who used to be a rodeo rider, is now a private detective. He returns from vacation to find a dead Indian on his property. Apparently there have been a rash of such killings. One of the other dead men, a young Indian boy was found shot under a bridge.
Rodeo, who barely has two nickels to his name, is asked by the boy's grandmother, a bitter old woman, to investigate his death. But, the boy's lover, a nasty and trained sniper also wants Rodeo to find the killer and persuasively threatens Rodeo by slicing his dog's neck with a knife to tell him who killed the young man.
There are dark currents in this story. A political race is going on, but the brother in law of the candidate is found murdered. A serial killer may be operating in the area. The boy's 6 year old sister, a young beauty, was ran over 6 months before in an unsolved hit and run accident. Two families have been torn asunder from the murders.
Rodeo must wade into this maelstrom and follow the clues as to how the death of the young man and his sister, the political race, the serial killings and the DOTA's are tied together.
"The Burning Room" by Michael Connelly is a perfectly executed cop and detective story about the investigation of two cold cases. As Connelly's great"The Burning Room" by Michael Connelly is a perfectly executed cop and detective story about the investigation of two cold cases. As Connelly's great detective Harry Bosch notes there are less and less murders in America, so the Los Angeles police have assigned an entire squad to try to go back and review previously unsolved cases and use newly discovered evidence or new circumstances to solve the case.
Nearing mandatory retirement, Bosch has partnered up with a Lucy Soto, a young hero detective, so she can learn from the best, and they have been given a hot case to pursue. The victim just died, but from blood poisoning from an old bullet wound. A Mariachi musician, and "friend" of a politician, it was thought that he was killed in gang violence while waiting in a plaza to get a new gig, but Bosch learns immediately from the bullet that the gun used was a rifle, not usually associated with a gangland hit. Bosch and Soto soon discover a lot more. Bosch knows how to conduct an investigation. He examines the murder book, interviews the previous cops and other people who were there at the scene of the crime and soon finds something that stands out - a person or situation that doesn't fit the storyline. Once he and Soto discover this circumstance, they will hunt down the real killer.
Meanwhile, Bosch discovers that Soto, who narrowly escaped a horrific arson blaze when she was a child, is secretly trying to ferret out clues about that unsolved case. Bosch "arranges" for the case to be assigned to them and the two team up together to investigate and Bosch soon figures out an interesting angle to pursue. It appears that the fire was set for some other reason.
Connelly is a master of these type of investigations. The pace, plot and action of the story is completely absorbing. Justice is served.
Bosch is the type of cop we should all have investigating our cases.
Virgil Flowers takes down three different sets of criminals in the entertaining Deadline, the eighth book in John Sandford's cops and detective seriesVirgil Flowers takes down three different sets of criminals in the entertaining Deadline, the eighth book in John Sandford's cops and detective series. There is a dognapping ring, a meth lab and a criminal school board. Although this series can be found in the mystery section of any library, there is very little mystery as Sandford reveals the identity of most of the criminals in the first few pages. The pleasure in this series is watching Virgil operate and his investigative techniques to uncover who are the criminals.
The dog napping criminals have totally riled up the town and they want to find the dogs and kill the criminals. A young boy in the hills with an unlikely moniker and Johnson Johnson, team up with Flowers to crack open the hidden dog hideout. While one feels for the victims and their love of their dogs, the whole episode is a big hoot especially the whole capture of the dog nappers in a wild scene near the end.
In the other major plot, a seemingly dissolute reporter is found shot to death and Flowers must discover the why as well as the who. As mentioned above, there is little suspense because Sandford reveals to the reader, the conspirators, but there is some mystery as to the motivations of the conspirators and the killer. But Flowers does not know anything so we get to see him work the case. Its an interesting case because the reporter seems to have a lead on a story, but Flowers must figure it all out, where is the evidence and how to get the conspirators. I thought this angle worked well, but that Sandford had to many scenes of trying to lure the conspirators out.
But this is a good addition to Sandford's series....more
Carla Neggers latest Emma Sharpe / Colin Donovan romantic suspense novel "Harbor Island" is typical of her work. There is a fair bit romantic interludCarla Neggers latest Emma Sharpe / Colin Donovan romantic suspense novel "Harbor Island" is typical of her work. There is a fair bit romantic interludes between couples, a tale of unrequited love, a murder, a bare ounce of investigation and then two pages before the end, a big reveal as to who the murderer is.
In other words, these are not books for you if you are a mystery fan. While there are two mysteries in the novel - who killed Rachel Bristol, a movie producer, who was investigating the Sharpe thief and the identity of the fabled Sharpe thief, who has stolen various art from Ireland and other international locations, the main action is instead centered on the relationships between the various couples in the novels. Neggers is adept at creating a suspenseful setting in which her various couples can deal with their relationships, in a romantic but shallow manner.
One couple is the Irish artist Aoife O'Byrne, who had a weekend fling with the Catholic priest Father Bracken, before he became a priest and has been pining for the priest for years now. They are thrown together during the investigation because the Sharpe thief stole art from O'Byrne's father, and there is some thought that O'Byrne might be in danger. This gives Neggers a chance to explore their relationship.
In addition, Neggers also focuses on Yank's relationship with his wife Lucy, and Colin's relationship with Emma, all while they sift the clues as to who murdered Rachel Bristol, and who could be the Sharpe thief.
Fans of Neggers will not be disappointed, but if you are looking for a mystery where there are actual clues instead of a big reveal at the end, this is not the book for you.
"Identity", the second Fina Ludlow novel is a very good example of the classic private investigation novel and Fina is a tough effective detective nov"Identity", the second Fina Ludlow novel is a very good example of the classic private investigation novel and Fina is a tough effective detective novel with a good central character, but the novel is somewhat weakened by Ingrid Thoft's uneven integration of the events of her first book in this series into this story. In addition, while the plot set up involving a fertility clinic was interesting. some elements seemed forced.
Fina Ludlow is an investigator at her father Carl Ludlow's law firm. Several years ago, Renata Sanchez, a potential client, became a mother via an anonymous sperm donor from the fertility clinic Heritage Cryobank. In a prelude to the main action, Sanchez wants to force Heritage to disclose the identity of the sperm donor and hires Carl Ludlow to bring an action. Before bringing the action, Carl sends Fina to find the identity of the sperm donor father, which Fina pulls off with a little ingenuity but in no time at all, which this reader found a touch unbelievable given the lengths that these clinics typically go to protect the identity of their donors. Sanchez confronts Hank Reardon, the father, who is, of course, very wealthy and seeks money for her daughter. The meeting does not go well.
It was not clear where Thoft was going here.
But soon enough, Reardon is found dead, and Fina is hired by his wealthy son to find out who killed his father.
There are a wide pool of potential suspects from the male chauvinistic Heritage Cryobank founder, who is clearly hiding something, Reardon's first wife, who needs money for her charity, his young second wife, who is also starting a charity and seems to be an indifferent mother, his business partner, who Reardon had blocked from a new lucrative deal, Sanchez, her daughter, and her daughter's boyfriend, who is another child of a sperm donor. Making matters worse for Fina is the appearance of a mysterious stalker who is following Fina and threatening her. The police are also an impediment to the investigation, as they do not want Fina hampering their own investigation.
Thoft's handling of the mystery and investigation are top notch.
While Fina does not seem to be accomplishing anything, Thoft shows that Fina's efforts and doggedness forces the potential suspects to take actions that discloses their activities. She also expertly plays off the various suspects against each other and reveals a lot of information about their motivations. These are not stick figures. There is depth of character here and, of course, plenty of red herrings.
Ultimately Fina will figure out the killer's identity and many of the other characters' secrets. She will also uncover a bit of fraud. While the killer's disclosure was not out of left field, it was a big surprise. A careful review of the novel will show a few potential clues about the killer's identity sprinkled in, but Thoft does most of the divulging of the killer's motivations in the last few pages, which is always a little annoying.
One of the problems in this novel, however. is the family dynamic left over from the first book. Apparently, as I did not read the first book in this series,Fina discovered that her brother was a pedofile, with designs on Fina's niece. Carl Ludlow has exiled him, but is interested in bringing his son back to the law firm and Fina is against it. Even if her family is forgiving and Carl Ludlow and Fina's mother are in denial, how could they allow someone like that back to the family. This part of the story was not that compelling even if Fina finds a way to get rid of her brother again.
But if you like a strong female detective not afraid to stick her nose and body in dangerous situations to find the killer, this book will definitely be a good read....more
Owen Laukkanen has established himself as a writer to read with original plots and diabolical villains. His police investigations are action packed enOwen Laukkanen has established himself as a writer to read with original plots and diabolical villains. His police investigations are action packed engrossing reads featuring the unusual pairing of Minnesota State Investigator Kirk Stevens and FBI special agent Carla Windermere, who must find the killers before they strike again. His debut novel, "The Professionals" about erudite businessmen who get into the kidnapping racket was a tour de force. His last book, "Criminal Enterprise" explored a bank robber's descent into evil, when he tries to keep up his lifestyle after being laid off from his job.
In "Kill Fee", Owen Laukkanen's latest cop - crime thriller, Stevens and Windermere, are at lunch when they witness the assassination of a billionaire. Although Stevens and Windermere give chase they cannot capture the dead eyed assassin.
A few days later, the billionaire's cousin is also killed.
What is the connection?
Stevens, the cop with golden instincts, is tasked by his boss, to protect the family and find out how the two men died. The investigation is complicated by the fact that the two men have nothing in common. He and Windermere join forces and try to track the killer before he strikes again. There are showdowns in Miami and clues at rental car spots.
Laukkanen does not completely depend on suspense. These novels are about both the criminals and the cops. So we soon meet the assassin's shrewd employer, a diabolical businessman, who has started a murder for hire business. His killers --young soldiers fresh from the Iraq War, who he molds and tortures until they are little more than unapologetic killers.
But Lind, his current killer for hire, is starting to feel something. He has met a girl, who cooks him spaghetti.
Laukkanen, also explores in more depth the uneasy relationship between the married Stevens, who loves his wife, and the single and beautiful Windermere, who are attracted to each other. This relationship forms the emotional heart of the novel, but the main star of this roller coaster ride of a novel is their efforts to find the killers before they strike again.
Can Stevens and Windermere figure out the fiendish plot and track Lind and the businessman before they kill again? Help will come from unexpected quarters, but there will be more bloodshed, murder and plenty of action along the way.