J.D. Rhoades has written six books in the Jack Keller series, and this is the latest one. It's also the first one I've read, and now I want to read them all. Keller's come to North Carolina to try to reconnect with his son, and possible rekindle a romance. The story hints at some grave harm that Jack did to his boy, some act of violence that saved him, but also scarred him.
In the novels first chapter Jack defends some new immigrants at the local school, refugees from the Iraq war. Soon he's hired as their bodyguard by the father, an ex-police officer who fled the country and was given a new identity. But he may not have fled with just his children. There are an awful lot of people who seem to have an interest in this family. I could be military information they want, someone seeking revenge for a past wrong, or a far more simple motive...money. It's no secret that the United States poured hundreds of millions of dollars into Iraq after the war to rebuild it, and a lot of that cash (yes, cash) simply disappeared. Could some of that money be here?
Keller finds himself defending the children not just from schoolyard bullies and redneck bigots, but ruthless assassins and even some federal agents who may not have the refugees' best interests at heart. As a man with a rap sheet, Jack Keller also has to be careful not to attract the attention of law enforcement. This proves to be a difficult task once the shooting starts.
There are a lot of characters jumping into the narrative with different motives behind each character. Rhoades has a nifty technique to keep the reader from getting lost. He keeps many of the chapters short, sometimes just two or three pages. This helps pack a lot of information into the story, which is good, because the action starts early and never lets up. I liked it. You will too.