Night Strike

Michael W. Sherer. Cutter, $14.99 trade paper (342p) ISBN 978-0-9892748-3-8

Sherer’s fast-paced fourth thriller featuring Seattle Times newspaper delivery driver Blake Sanders (after 2014’s Night Drop) will appeal to fans of Hitchockian plots in which a person’s quiet life is disrupted by a chance encounter. Sanders, who has “morphed from mild-mannered public affairs consultant to killer” in prior series entries, is haunted by the suicide of his teenage son, Cole. Even his prosaic job becomes dangerous after a strange man, who has concealed himself in the backseat of Sanders’s car, holds a gun to his head. The gunman tells him to drive him “anywhere.” After Sanders stops the car, the stranger shows him a snapshot of a girl, maybe five or six years old, and asks him to keep her safe. The man then expires from gunshot wounds. The situation becomes even more bizarre when Sanders notices something odd in one of the dead man’s eyes and extracts a tiny circuit from it. The plot twists are entertaining, but reader should be prepared for some heavy-handed prose (“The night enveloped us, a black velvet pouch, soft and warm as it rustled on our skin”). (Oct.)