This was published in July of this year (2020), just ahead of the tsunami of 600 new titles in August. If a few words here can help it raise its head above the breaking wave and get some readers, my work here is done.
This is a concoction of a book. It is part PI investigation, part martial arts, from the title you might have gathered that it is also partly an exposé of a particular kind of human trafficking (I have no idea if it is based in fact, but it looms large enough in the story to make me wonder), partly a story of the life of a single dad which many people will recognise, and part romance. Oh, and it will suit people who like to know what sort of gun they’ve been shot with. That’s a lot of parts.
The writing is good, and lively. The characters are all engaging: well drawn and with just enough differentiation. The teen daughter is a delight and when the wildcard Quinn shows up she lifts the whole thing.
The main protagonist, John Targett, is knowledgeable and authoritative in his fields of martial arts and guns. But he continually runs himself down regarding his parenting skills. And he freely admits he’s a tyro at his newish business of private investigating. However, he has smarts. So what he lacks in parenting experience he makes up for with wry, affectionate remarks and unconditional love. And what he lacks in PI experience he makes up for with a couple of clever, life-saving plans which are delivered at just the right pace to keep the reader avidly turning the pages.
Targett has, of course, A Big Grief in his past. Part of the book is devoted, entertainingly, to helping him expiate that.
There are a few longueurs, and some unhelpful repetitions. If you think ‘can I safely skip past this bit, I seem to have read it before’, you have and you can.
But when the book is motoring – as it usually is – it is an engaging, action-packed, fun-filled all-American adventure.