Bantam, Apr 28 2009, $25.00
In Kobuleti, Republic of Georgia lives former bodyguard Atticus Kodika and his lover retired assassin Alena Cizkova. The couple use aliases to hide their identity from the outside world. However, even in this remote village violence explodes. Someone assaults and violently kills their neighbor Bakhar Lagidze, his wife and his eight year old son; they kidnap his fourteen years old daughter, Tiasa. The local cops quickly rule murder-suicide; outraged Atticus pledges to rescue the teen though that means breaking his vow to not get involved after the massive manhunt directed by top government officials (see POLITICAL GAMES).
Following her trail, he learns she was abducted to sell as merchandise to pay off her late father's debts. Keeping to his vow though he detests having to even make inquiries inside the sordid human trafficking slave market, he pursues clues that lead to the Middle East, back to Europe, and eventually to Nevada. However those he seeks to pay for their murders and kidnapping know he is on their tail and go after Alena. No “Drama queen”, she flees for her life with the help of Atticus' former lover New York based private investigator Bridgett Logan.
The action is non-stop, brutal, and bloody even before Atticus begins his rescue quest. Obstinate and brave Atticus is like a bull dog refusing to give up the mission though the odds are overwhelmingly against him. However, what makes this electrifying thriller super is the ease in which Greg Rucka interweaves without preaching or slowing down the plot a political commentary on human trafficking in which governments pretend the slave market does not exist.