Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
A prime example of “being in the wrong place at the wrong time” and living to tell the tale.
Protagonist Nick White is a middle-aged man whose life has taken a downward turn. His penchant for gambling and drinking has lost him his career and his wife.
One night when he is sitting at the bar of his local drinking establishment, he is approached by a blonde who mistakes him for someone else. He plays along, thinking that no harm can come from a little role play. Just goes to show how wrong a guy can be! She gives him an envelope containing ten thousand dollars and a flash drive. In return he is to kill a young girl whose photo is also enclosed. When the hitman who the blonde had arranged to meet enters the bar, Nick suddenly finds himself in a dire predicament. The hitman has seen him and has found out where he lives…
He goes to Charlie, his Dad, an ailing ex-policeman with whom he seems to have a close relationship. With Charlie’s connections he discovers the identity of the intended victim and of the blonde who hired him. It appears the woman is the victim’s step-mother. His Dad advises Nick to get out of the country.
Nick plans to warn the intended victim, Abigail Pierce. She is the daughter of the head of a medical research firm, Holloway Industries. He feels that warning her is the least he can do before he leaves the country. A bad decision. Nick seems to be good at those.
Nick’s character reminded me of the protagonists of Dick Francis. Essentially a good guy who gets mired down with circumstances he fights to gain control over. I liked Nick and his Dad Charlie and enjoyed their relationship.
The plot of “Ruthless” I found to be a tad predictable. Even the twist was one which I anticipated. Perhaps I read too many thrillers and/or watch too much television. With forays into the realm of genetic engineering, the plot was just a little too ‘out there’ for my liking. I was disappointed in the weak ending which left me dissatisfied because there were too many unanswered questions. That being said, I was entertained by the novel. It was fast paced and I read it with a modicum of enthusiasm.
Overall I found this to be a somewhat routine novel. With all the good novels out there I honestly can’t see myself reading another book by this author.
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JOHN RECTOR is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of THE GROVE, THE COLD KISS, ALREADY GONE and OUT OF THE BLACK. His short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and won several awards including the International Thriller Award for his novella LOST THINGS, many of his other stories can be found in his collection THE WALLS AROUND US.
He lives in Omaha, Nebraska.