HARD ROAD

Written by J.B. Turner

Review written by Adrian Magson

Adrian Magson is the author of 20 crime and spy thrillers, including the Harry Tate series, the Lucas Rocco series and the Marc Portman series. His latest books are ‘The Locker’ (Midnight Ink - Feb 2016) the first in a new thriller series, and ‘Hard Cover’ (Severn House - March 2016), the third of his Marc Portman novels.


HARD ROAD
Exhibit A
RRP: £8.99
Released: 1st August 2013
Pbk

When former Delta Force operative, now professional assassin, Jon Reznick takes on an assignment to terminate a target described as ‘an imminent security risk’, he has no reason to suspect anything different to previous jobs. The fact that the target is an American, and the job is on US soil is a little unusual, but it’s what he does, so he goes along with it.

But the job goes wrong from the beginning; for a start the man’s name turns out to be Luntz, which is different to the one he’s been given – and Luntz has an FBI minder… or, at least had one, since the agent is now dead.

So who is this mystery man? And what is he hiding that he will endure kidnapping by Reznick and the threat of a painful death to keep it hidden?

Self-preservation kicks in, but Reznick is not totally ruthless; he’s not going to kill a man who may not be his intended target. Suspecting that Luntz is on somebody’s else’s kill list, which now makes himself a target, he takes the unfortunate Luntz on a road trip while trying to figure out what to do and who to call.

But he’s not the only one looking for Luntz. The FBI in the shape of Assistant Director Martha Meyerstein wants him, too, and she soon learns of Reznick’s identity and background. Although she sets off a manhunt for this suspected killer of one of her agents, in the back of her mind, however, she is not sure that Reznick is quite the brutal killer that he seems to be.

Reznick, meanwhile, for all his strengths and experience, has a weakness: his eleven-year-old daughter Lauren, who he’s been trying to shield from his brutal world. And when she goes missing, and he receives a chilling message from her kidnappers, he realises that he is caught up in something much bigger than he can understand.

His only hope is to turn to the FBI and Meyerstein for help.

But for a man accustomed to living and operating in the shadows, that’s not an easy thing to do. Nobody is quite what they seem and he cannot be certain who to trust. All he knows is that Luntz holds the key to what is unfolding, and he has to try and find out what that is, while tracking down his daughter and the people holding her. And if that means risking a possible confrontation with the FBI, then so be it.

J B Turner (who also writes a separate series as Jack Ross), knows how to put together a great thriller. His writing style is fluent and assured, the detail convincing and the characters well drawn, with Reznick and Meyerstein forming a very believable, if slightly cautious, partnership of opposites.

In all, this first in a series is a great addition to the thriller genre, with all the necessary ingredients required to deliver the goods: tension, drama, thrills and a cast of tough, non-nonsense characters.

Read SHOTS's interview with J.B. Tuner by clicking here

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