Hard Way

Written by J.B. Turner

Review written by Adrian Magson

Adrian Magson is the author of 20 crime and spy thrillers. His latest books are ‘The Bid’ (Midnight Ink), the second Gonzales & Vaslik thriller, and ‘Dark Asset’ (Severn House), the fourth in his Marc Portman series. More information https://www.adrianmagson.com/


Hard Way
Thomas & Mercer
RRP: £8.99
Released: May 11 2017
PBK

When FBI Assistant Director Martha Meyerstein goes missing, it’s against the grain to everyone who knows her; her ex-husband, her fellow employees – and especially freelance operator Jon Reznick. Faced with his knowledge of her, and her ex-husband’s concern for her well-being, Reznick approaches her colleagues only to find them in a state of indecision-making, some even assuming she’s simply taken some time out. 

Reznick knows this isn’t possible; Meyerstein is a workaholic and never takes time off. He can only conclude that she must have been taken against her will. His fears are confirmed when the FBI confiscates all Martha’s electronic equipment and moves her children to a safe house, effectively a red flag that something bad has happened. He approaches Special Agent Roy Stamper, who finally admits that they need his help. Reznick agrees, but it has to be on his terms, as he’s not prepared to leave her out there at the mercy of whoever has kidnapped her while the FBI makes up its mind what to do.

With initial suspicions that the New York Mafia is involved, as a revenge attack on Meyerstein, it soon becomes apparent that there’s a much bigger game at stake – and that can only involve the Russian Mob, who don’t play the revenge game. They have far bigger plans.

With a backdrop of intriguing characters, from nervous FBI agents, a former CIA director now running a ‘consultancy’ pursuing his own inside game, a special assistant to the New York City Police Commissioner, a Serbian hitman and a dying Russian father desperate to get his son out of prison at all costs, Reznick decides to play outside the rules, the way he usually does. This isn’t simply another operation to him; this is about his friend Martha, and he knows that the longer she’s out there, the more likely she is - to end up dead.

J B Turner has been skilfully building the powerful Reznick character book by book, and gathering a keen following in the process. In this, the fourth novel, Reznick becomes almost an FBI insider, doing what they seem fearful of even contemplating, yet still operating on his own terms and with scant regard for any rules. In his eyes, rules get people killed, and he isn’t about to let that happen to Martha.

It’s fast and furious, and a ‘deadline’ story that doesn’t let up the tension for a moment. 

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