Friday, January 13, 2012

No Return-Brett Battles

No Return

Brett Battles

Dell, Jan 31 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 978-0440245629

In the Mohave Desert near Ridgecrest, California, Wes Stewart and a crew are working in a film. For Wes the assignment is a homecoming of sorts having lived nearby as a child though this is his first return in about fifteen years.

Wes notices an F-18 Navy fighter plane flying across the clear blue sky on a trajectory that can only mean crash. He runs to the site to rescue the pilot. However, before he can get the aviator out of the F-18, an explosion turns the plane into a crematorium. The local newspaper proclaims Wes a hero, but what shakes him is the photo of the deceased; the man in the newspaper’s picture is not the person he helplessly watched die in the plane. Suddenly Wes is a person of interest to the local police and the Navy; however, it is the third party he is unaware of who stalks him with deadly intent.

With Jonathan Quinn taking a well-earned respite from his Cleaner work (see Shadow of Betrayal; and The Silenced), Brett Battles provides a superb taut thriller of a Good Samaritan learning the road to hell is paved in the desert. The storyline is fast-paced from the moment Wes fails at the rescue and never slows down until the final confrontation. Although the overly frequent use of happenchance detracts from the plot, readers will enjoy Wes’ homecoming.

Harriet Klausner

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