This newest entry in the Jonathan Quinn series brings back many of the usual cast of characters: Nate, Quinn’s mentee and now an elite cleaner himself (the job entailing discreetly cleaning up crime scenes and the occasional body after the always possible bloodshed); their colleague, Daeng; and of course Orlando, the love of Quinn’s life, an Asian woman, a brilliant computer hacker with a 12-year-old son and now nearing the end of her pregnancy with her and Quinn’s baby; and Helen Cho, described as “head of a growing network of government [and quasi-government] security and intelligence agencies” and now a client of Quinn and his team.
From the publisher (no spoilers): Everything on the job is going as expected. The target has been dealt with, and all that’s left to do is remove the body. But a surprise is waiting for Quinn and Nate, one that completely changes their mission. Then when the client who gave them their new orders disappears, they find themselves on their own, with a human asset holding a dark secret that several parties are interested in obtaining, by force if necessary. To keep the asset alive, the two cleaners must stay on the run, but even that doesn’t guarantee success. Because no matter how closely a secret is guarded, if enough people want it, it won’t stay buried forever.
Just as I wasn’t originally familiar with the description of Quinn and Nate as “cleaners,” here we are introduced to characters referred to variously as “the assassin” and “the hunters,” which would seem self-explanatory. All are very well trained and good at what they do (one of them considers himself “the number one hunter in the world”), leaving several bodies in their wake.
As Mr. Battles always does with the thrillers in this series, he takes the reader to various places around the US, primarily cities in and around the Pacific northwest and then down the coast to California; San Francisco; New York City; Kansas; the Washington DC area; Virginia; Texas; Chicago; and even Berlin, each places where the “good guys” and “bad guys” are chasing each other and the asset referred to above. A bit hard to follow at times, but no matter. The suspense, at which the author is a master, builds consistently, and he wraps everything up very satisfactorily.
Mr. Battles’ next book, The Destroyer, book 2 in his Rewinder series, just came out in January, and it will be near the top of my TBR/R pile shortly. This one, as you might have guessed, is recommended.