Loved this thriller- especially the hero Desmond Aloysius Limerick who reminds me of a wild and British Jack Reacher! Desmond has a military background as a specialist mercenary gatekeeper: highly educated, deeply trained, and able to keep all open and hold open all sorts of doors (physical, electronic, cyber). Desmond also has a strong moral center that guides him: doing what’s right and protecting the vulnerable who come under his care.
This suspenseful read opens with Desmond holding open and then closing a door on an undercover CIA operation in Azerbaijan. Fast forward two years, and Desmond’s on a tourist visa to the U.S., bringing along only his guitar, love of music, and rugged laptop and cell phone. He’s in L.A. when he gets a distress call from a young talented Black/Iranian singer friend, Raziah, whose older sister Laleh, a reporter, has been brutally attacked in Portland Oregon. Desmond flies in to help, which starts by taking down a couple of the bad guys lurking around Laleh’s hospital and then encountering both the U.S. Marshalls Office from Virginia and the DEA, each interested in a different one of the assailants who each have deep criminal backgrounds.
All this ladders up to the story Laleh has been investigating: the unexpected death of an accountant scrutinizing the books of a powerful high-tech corporation, Clockjack Solutions, headquartered in Oregon. Desmond gets swept up in the secret corruption that has infused Clockjack, alternating continually between powerful action hero and genius gumshoe detective, as the villains get their comeuppance.
To share more would upend the continual plot surprises- just add this book to the top of your reading pile!!
I’m immediately going back to the first book in this series, Gatekeeper, and I cannot wait for Desmond’s next outing!!
Thanks to St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books and NetGalley for an advanced readers copy.