In his engrossing thriller, Diamond (Impala, 2016, etc.) reminds readers that something as simple as a wrong turn can be the difference between life and death.
Whether in his first career as a boxer or his current one as a private investigator, Freddy Ferguson has always known to trust his instincts, the flares of warning that let him know something is very wrong. So when he’s flying home from San Francisco to D.C. and finds a woman in the security line piquing his interest, he’s sure she’s trouble, but he can’t help looking anyway. She appears to be unduly encouraged by two men to board a flight to Honolulu, but she deplanes at the last second, disguises herself, and hops a flight to Chicago. That, the bruises on her wrists, and the two men who made sure she got on the Honolulu flight would be enough to cause alarm. But when Freddy gets back to D.C. and learns that the Honolulu plane exploded over Santa Cruz, it’s clear why his instincts were triggered. When Freddy’s partner, Ed Hartwell, pulls him into the investigation, it doesn’t take the PI long to find out the woman’s name is Anna Brook and that she’s well-hidden. Just how deep the rabbit hole goes, Freddy can’t say. But he’s sure going to find out. The prose here is strong and solid, giving the reader an immediate sense of place and voice through Freddy’s first-person narration. Plus, it’s rare to see writing that so effectively blends action with characterization. Not only do readers have a crystal-clear vision of Anna right from the start, they’re also provided insight into Freddy’s dog-with-a-bone personality and sense of curiosity. That should be enough to hook most readers, but there are also breakneck twists and turns along with lots of backstory, particularly through flashbacks to Freddy’s past and his regrets.
A consummate thriller with some of the best characterization you’ll see all year.