This action packed, fast paced, heart-pounding brain-teaser pits two ruthless professionals against each other in a cat and mouse game. The suspense generated plays nifty tricks on your mind and every time someone new wanders across the page the atmosphere builds.
The storyline is narrated in the first person and has great plotting and a wonderful cast of characters. One of the main characters is a “shepherd” named Corte who is charged with protecting a principal named Ryan Kessler from a “lifter” named Henry Loving. (A shepherd is the person in charge of protecting another person (the principal) and the lifter is the person employed to interrogate and extract information from the principal by deadly force or using a family member or friends as leverage. It is challenging at first, there are a lot of acronyms and terms for us to get our heads around but once we get into the swing of things, we are adeptly provided with all the twists and counter-twists to keep us constantly on our toes, we never know what is coming next.
The task our hero, Corte, faces is not easy. We learn the Kessler family is a family with many problems and Ryan is no exception, he is cop with a drinking problem and a complex. Corte is faced by an ever-increasing number of distractions, complications in a deadly game as he and his opponent Henry Loving jostle for position from chapter to chapter.
This intellectual and psychological thriller gripped my attention from the very beginning and never let go. Corte, a board game aficionado and Loving a very capable nemesis each trying to outwit the other in a real-life game of chess using people as pawns proved to be intriguing, captivating and quite fulfilling from start to finish. It was my first experience reading this author and it will not be the last.