Reviewed by Gloria Feit
[This book is self-published, and can be ordered through Amazon, B&N or from the author, brettbattles.com]
From the publisher: Even those who make bodies disappear for a living need a vacation! To Quinn and Orlando, the offer of a private villa on a quiet island beach sounds like heaven, and they jump at the chance for some family time with their six-month-old daughter and Orland’s teenage son. At first it seems as though their holiday will be even better than they’d hoped. The water is warm, the house is beautiful, and the view is spectacular. But when revenge is in the air, things have a way of going sideways.
The tenth and newest entry in the Jonathan Quinn series brings back many of the usual cast of characters: Nate, Quinn’s mentee and his sister Liz’ boyfriend, and now an elite cleaner himself (the job entailing discreetly cleaning up crime scenes and the occasional body after the always possible bloodshed); their colleague, Daeng; and of course Orlando, the love of Quinn’s life, an Asian woman, a brilliant computer hacker; and Helen Cho, described as “head of a growing network of government [and quasi-government] security and intelligence agencies” and now a client of Quinn and his team. Garrett himself, now a mature teenager, plays a large role in the tale. [At one point he thinks “None of the other kids had a spy for a mother.] Even his baby sister, Claire, plays a visible role. Among “the bad guys” are Pravat [who considers himself ”a watcher,” not a gunman] and a couple of his associates, here called “One” and “Two.” Richard Maddox, who does not make his living as a criminal, but is the head of a non-governmental organization whose sole aim was to prevent the human trafficking of girls and young women. As usual in this series, the action moves among Barcelona to Bangkok,Cambodia, Koh Samui (Thailand), and Jakarta.
Just as I wasn’t originally familiar with the description of Quinn and Nate as “cleaners,” here we are introduced to characters referred to variously as “the assassin” and “the hunters,” which would seem self-explanatory. All are very well trained and good at what they do (one of them considers himself “the number one hunter in the world”), leaving several bodies in their wake. Among the characters presented here are Mee Noi, “brutal henchman of the former criminal boss Chayan.” The suspense, at which the author is a master, builds consistently, and he wraps everything up very satisfactorily.