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DEAD LINE by Chris Ewan


by Chris Ewan

Pub Date: Aug. 5th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-250-04707-6
Publisher: Minotaur

 A savvy security expert tries to deal with a ruthless gang of kidnappers while protecting a deep and damaging secret.

Intently watching the activity outside the Marseilles Opera House as the Ballet National performs inside, Daniel Trent witnesses the brutal kidnapping of wealthy Jérôme Moreau. When Jerome's bodyguard, Alain, arrives on the scene, Trent steps forward to offer his services. Alain's question is the same as the reader's: What was Trent doing at the crime scene? Trent finesses his answer, but Ewan soon reveals that Trent's beloved fiancee, Aimée, has also been kidnapped, almost certainly by Jérôme. When Jérôme’s distraught trophy wife, Stephanie, gives Trent her approval, he's in. She also requests, over Alain's objections, that Jérôme’s handsome but dissolute son, Philippe, be brought into this inner circle. As the quartet continues to argue like cats in a bag, Trent struggles to keep control. He meets privately with Luc Girard, the rugged investigator who's been trying to find Aimée for six weeks without success. Aimée appears in short, splintered flashbacks as Trent progressively takes control of the Jérôme operation. The seriousness of the kidnappers is established once and for all when Serge, Jérôme's chauffeur, turns up dead. Trent lands in the hot seat when Alain, who's been secretly monitoring Girard's movements, asks Trent who Girard is.

This character-driven thriller by the author of the breezy Charlie Howard series (The Good Thief's Guide to Berlin, 2013, etc.) maintains a nice sense of pace and tension and has a handful of satisfying twists.