50. The Deceived by Brett Battles. 358 p. Published June 2008.
This novel is the sequel to Battle’s debut thriller, The Cleaner.
When Quinn is called to clean up a body, he prepares for a normal job. What he didn’t prepare for was discovering that the body belonged to one of his closest friends, Steven Markoff, who was left to die in a shipping container. With only a cryptic message scrawled in his friend’s blood, Quinn feels obligated to inform Markoff’s lover, Jenny. But Jenny, a Congressional aid, has gone missing, and Quinn finds a bunch of men ransacking her house.
Quinn, with the help of his apprentice Nate and Orlando, a tech-savy compatriot, jumps around the country tracking Jenny’s trail. Along the way Quinn begins to unravel a devious plot by forces within the U.S. government. Finally, Quinn tracks Jenny to Singapore, where the story begins to take on a whole new level of intrigue and danger.
The Deceived continues to develop and refine the world of The Cleaner. Improving on his skills at character development and pacing, Battles combines technique, technical detail, and a gift for sudden plot twists to carry the reader along. While a number of scenes in the novel still come across as unfinished or even unecessary, The Deceived exhibits Battles’ skills and potential in a bloated market.
Rating: 3 out of 5