This is the ninth entry in the Jonathan Quinn series, and 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 who is a brilliant computer hacker; 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, and we meet Abraham Delger, who had mentored and trained Orlando years ago, now 60 years old.
As the book opens, seven years ago in Osaka, Japan, Abraham, has been tasked with basically acting as a courier, far below his level of expertise, now waiting to take possession of a “package he was to transport - - no questions asked.” Only the package in question turns out to be a four-year-old child. Ultimately Abraham does not carry out his instructions, and sees the child delivered safely into the hands of people he can trust to keep her that way. In the intervening years, and since his voluntary ‘retirement’ from the espionage business, he has remained obsessed with finding out where the young girl is, and whether or not she is still safe. But now it appears that Abraham is not the only one trying to track her down, and one by one those who had any knowledge of the operation are being hunted down and killed.
As Mr. Battles always does with the thrillers in this series, he takes the reader to various places around the world, including Denmark, Florida, California, Mississippi, Texas and Hawaii, with the stakes and the suspense increasing as he goes. The nail-biting plot is never less than realistic, and the characters very well-drawn. At the end, the reader is left with a tantalizing hook which will make the next book in the series that much more eagerly anticipated, and I can’t wait!