“Stalk” by Louis Charbonneau

I hadn’t read any books by Louis Charbonneau before this and I must confess I enjoyed reading, “Stalk.”  The story line was rather predictable and the good guys had to win at the end but I liked his writing style and the fast pace he maintained all through the book.

The start was gripping. Barney McLean returns one night to his quiet home in a small town in sunny California to find his live in partner, Angie and her little son, Tony missing. He survives a vicious attack himself and manages to kill his two would be killers, who he later finds out are guns for hire, engaged by Angie’s ex-husband.

The ex-CIA operative that he is, McLean brings to bear all the investigative and analytical skills he has honed over the years to trace Angie to far away Philadelphia. He then finds out much about her that she had never revealed to him in the two years they had lived together. But then, he had never shared his own story either, leaving her to assume he had been some kind of spy in the service of the Government.

The story hinges around a freak case where two people in hiding come together, each not knowing anything about the other. McLean is lying low for his own reasons (having to leave the CIA after an unpleasant tiff with his superiors when he had killed a rogue CIA agent), Angie is in California under the Witness protection Program having testified against her own husband who turned out to be a drug trafficking Mafia Don apart from being an addict himself.

What makes things more difficult for McLean is that even as he sets out to hunt for Angie and Tony, he has to contend with a psychopath killer, who had been a sworn enemy during his Agency days. This man is a specialist killer and McLean has to use every trick in the book to stay ahead of his pursuer.

The story has a few unexpected turns and a few predictable parts but overall makes for interesting reading.  I would, based on reading this book, love to read more from Charbonneau.

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