Forge, Apr 2002, 24.95, 238 pp.
In his mid forties, Peter Macklin retired several years ago as a hit man and recently married the much younger Laurie. They are enjoying their honeymoon in Los Angeles when crime boss Carlo Maggiore spots Peter. Though Macklin tried to kill Carlo years ago, business is business so the mobster “hires” Peter to complete a hit that one of his thugs messed up. The fee is fifty large ones plus the safe return of his wife if he kills San Antonio bookie Johns Davis.
Peter hides what he is doing from Laurie, insisting he is going to Sacramento on business. Instead Peter goes to Texas to complete the job. Though out of practice, a hit feels like riding a bike to the retired professional. As Peter works on the details of how he will execute the assignment, Laurie realizes that her “baby-sitter” is no friend of her spouse. She knows that she must depend on herself to remain safe from this goon, while patiently waiting until Peter returns to force the truth from him.
The latest Macklin tale is an exciting crime thriller that showcases the talent of award-winning Loren D. Estleman and demonstrates why the antihero is so popular. The story line is loaded with action whether Peter is the focus or Laurie takes center stage. Though the tale fails to provide Laurie's reactions to Peter's former profession (stay tuned for that in the next novel), fans of the author, especially of Macklin, will appreciate this gratifying thriller.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner