Definitely hot stuff! All the ingredients are here and handled brilliantly. Avery is an extremely sympathetic anti-hero; a killer with a code. Somers does an outstanding job of giving us A LOT of targets in this veritable shoot-em-up, targets that can be terminated with extreme prejudice without the reader feeling too much sympathy for the departed. But, even among the bloodshed and the body count, there is still some measure of humanity, despite the savagery of Somers’ post-unification (read: post-apocalyptic) planet earth.
The finale takes our hero to a place of maddening isolation as he attempts to bring down one more score, one job that will seal his fate if he survives. Without giving too much away, Somers comes up with a vivid plot device that brings the reader right inside the madness that drives the story. It is a terrifically uncomfortable passage that I actually had to set down for a moment before continuing. If nothing else, the author’s ability to evoke such a strong emotional response in the midst of a somewhat formulaic pulp thriller is praise-worthy.
Somers characters and storytelling were good enough to get the book optioned, and I’m interested to see which actors will be selected for which roles. It’s also good enough for me to be excited about the next two Avery Cates books, both of which have now been added to my wish list