In his seventh outing (Patriot Acts, 2007, etc.), Atticus Kodiak goes after sexual predators and kills them deliciously.
It’s been four years since Atticus and his beloved Alena have practiced their respective crafts: He’s a professional bodyguard, she’s a professional killer. Now that both of their vocations have generated resourceful and implacable enemies, they’ve been lying low in rustic climes. Other similarly minded souls, Atticus knows, have sought peace, quiet and a low profile in the town of Kobuleti in the former Soviet satellite of Georgia. Some, however, are less successful at hiding than others—like Bakhar Lagidze and his family, friends of Atticus and Alena. One harrowing night assassins catch up with them, break into their home and gun down Bakhar, his wife and their eight-year-old boy. Their 14-year-old daughter Tiasa is kidnapped for purposes that seem chillingly obvious. Earlier that day, Tiasa had shyly asked Atticus to dance with her. Now her life will be devoted to a series of ugly command performances. Though Atticus acknowledges that “I was, in so many ways, a bad man,” he realizes that he has no choice but to go after her. Over the objections of Alena, who correctly sees their own hard-earned security at risk, he does. It’s a search that takes him to distant and unlikely places: Turkey, Dubai, Las Vegas. He enters a world where children, particularly female children, are bought and sold by brutes to whom money is the only morality. At length, with the aid of friends and the occasional well-disposed stranger, Atticus is successful. He finds Tiasa, bruised but somehow not broken, and works rough justice in a climactic, satisfactorily bloody confrontation.
Only Lee Child’s Jack Reacher thins the bottom-feeder population with as much brio as Atticus.