Obsidian, Oct 2008, $7.99
Evan Delaney is near hysterical when she learns her father’s car has been found wrecked at the bottom of a California ravine. The local authorities believe Phil committed suicide, but cannot answer Evan’s calm question of where the corpse is. The FBI believes Phil set up a death ploy to flee the country just before the DA was to file charges against him, but they fail to be specific as to his alleged crime when pressed by Evan. She believes law enforcement at all levels is CYA as her dad was a spy who came in from the cold as a whistle blower; she fears something sinister has happened to Phil as she knows he would have called her if he could.
Her fear proves right although she gains no satisfaction with the affirmation. An assassin for hire visits Evan; his wife Jax is also missing just like her dad. Since his spouse and here father worked together on the Riverbend Operation, he and Evan agree the same culprit abducted both of their loved ones. Rio Sanger is a madam who caters to men with particularly twisted desires; she calls Evan with a deal. In exchange for the location of where Phil is stashed, Evan is to deliver the Riverbend file, which she does not have and will have to go on a treasure hunt to find it. Evan is on a scavenger hunt of 72 hours and counting down; the prize saving Phil.
Meg Gardiner writes some of the best suspense thrillers on the market today. In KILL CHAIN the author surprises her audiences with the way the story line develops as each spin seems plausible but comes from nowhere; finishing with an explosive climax that will shock the readers and the heroine. Evan is a strong willed individual who will need every ounce of her iron determination to save her dad irregardless of the consequences to herself. She is at her best fighting impossible odds established by a ruthless unknown adversary who does not mind collateral damage.