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HARD STOP by Chris Knopf

HARD STOP

By Chris Knopf

Pub Date: May 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-57962-183-4
Publisher: Permanent Press

A successful but overstressed engineering executive turned contented neophyte carpenter suddenly finds his two worlds about to collide.

For 20 years, Sam Acquillo (Head Wounds, 2008, etc.) had been a golden boy at Consolidated Global Energies, an authentic fast-tracker until the day he left. It had been an unpleasant parting orchestrated largely by George Donovan, the Chairman of the Board. But that’s evidently ancient history for Donovan because now he needs things from Sam. He needs Sam’s first-class brain, his famous ability to commit wholeheartedly to a task and, above all, his discretion. In particular, he needs Sam to find Iku Kinjo, his lover. Promised a packet of money for a successful outcome, Sam hires on. Though he’d known Iku only briefly as a Con Globe consultant, he recalls her vividly. Brilliant, ambitious and remarkably beautiful, Iku Kinjo would strike no one as the kind of young woman to go missing without sufficient cause. Sam’s right to think so, of course, but in the end that mysterious cause proves infinitely more complicated and murderous than he imagined.

An appealing hero, who might be even more appealing if he cut back on the one-liners next time, and a colorful entourage that includes endearing Eddie, the anti-Marley dog, make for a lively and entertaining mix.