Posts Tagged ‘FBI’

Kill Fee

Author Owen Laukkanen

Author Owen Laukkanen

Kill Fee is the soon-to-be-released crime novel from Owen Laukkanen. It is a fast paced account of the search for a the head of a murder for hire organization named “Killswitch”. Yes, this is a computer term, and the name of the organization refers to the fact that this is an internet based operation.

The brains behind Killswitch runs an encrypted program on his work and home computers. The money paid for the hits is transferred by wire to a foreign account that is hidden behind various shell corporations. The assassins that Killswitch employs, known as the “assets”, are young war veterans suffering from PTSD. Killswitch brainwashes the assets into following his commands.

As this novel opens, an elderly billionaire is murdered in Saint Paul, Minnesota. A state investigator, Kirk Stevens. and his occasional partner, FBI special agent Carla Windermere, witness the murder and give chase to the shooter. It takes a few more murders before they are able to connect the dots and realize that these seemingly unrelated murders were all committed by the same person.

Stevens and Windermere criss cross the country following clues and looking for the killer.

The concept of this book is interesting. It is well written and a quick read. I will say, though that I liked it, but didn’t love it. I think for me the issue is that I wish the main characters had more depth to them. It was difficult to understand their motivation. This novel would likely make a good movie, though. There is plenty of action and violence for today’s audience.

Many thanks, once again, to LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program for sending me this novel.

In USA:

To be published in hardcover-G.P. Putnam’s Sons-March 20, 2014

Kill Fee (A Stevens and Windermere Novel)

Noah’s Rainy Day

Author Sandra Brannan

Author Sandra Brannan

Noah’s Rainy Day is the fourth book in Sandra Brannan’s series featuring Liv Bergen, now an FBI Special Agent. Liv has recently completed her FBI training in Quantico, Virginia, and is newly returned to the Denver area. Liv is staying with the family of her sister, Frances, while she searches for an apartment large enough to accommodate her and Beulah, The FBI bloodhound that she works with. Noah is Liv’s twelve year old nephew. He is afflicted with a severe form of cerebral palsy. He is nearly blind, and can barely move independently. Noah, however, is smart, observant, and wants to be a spy like his hero, his Auntie Liv.

Liv and Beulah are summoned to Denver International Airport on Christmas Eve to work on their first case together. A five year old boy, Max, has disappeared from the airport during a layover on his New York to Los Angeles flight. His parents are divorcing and his wealthy father has sent him to spend Christmas with his mother in LA. Mr. Bennett has paid an airline employee to escort little Max to his destination. When Max doesn’t deplane in LA, his waiting mother becomes hysterical, and the search is on.

Noah’s Rainy Day is interesting, fact-paced and, overall, a good read. And even though I haven’t read the previous three Liv Bergen books, it was simple enough to get up to speed on the characters and the story line.

The only nit I have to pick will probably sound familiar to readers of this blog. Liv is a smart, strong, independent woman. She and her colleagues are working round the clock to help solve the mystery of Max’s disappearance. And yet-Liv has time to wonder about the new cologne one of her male co-workers is wearing. She is convinced that is was given to him by a female co-worker, and she is jealous. And he is not even the colleague that she is interested in. What gives?

On the other hand, it’s great to have a character with a severe disability take center stage in a novel. Although Noah’s body is crippled, his mind is active and inquisitive. He shows tremendous empathy for the missing Max, and his assistance is crucial bringing Max home.

So-overall, I give Noah’s Rainy Day a thumbs up. Once again, many thinks to the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program for sending me this book. I look forward to reading Brannan’s earlier novels featuring Liv Bergen.

In USA:

Softcover edition-Greenleaf Book Group Press-2013

Noah’s Rainy Day