cover image A Dangerous Breed

A Dangerous Breed

Glen Erik Hamilton. Morrow, $27.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-06-297851-6

In Edgar finalist Hamilton’s exceptional fifth novel featuring professional thief Van Shaw (after 2019’s Mercy River), Van runs afoul of hacker Bilal Nath, who threatens to harm Van’s adoptive family unless Van agrees to steal an unknown item from a Seattle biotechnology company. Van assumes it’s a cure for Nath’s ALS, but discovers instead that the company holds the only viable cryogenically preserved ova of Nath’s wife, Aura, who became sterile after undergoing chemo for ovarian cancer. The couple hope to have a child. Meanwhile, Van is trying to find his unknown father, who may have abandoned him and his mother 30 years earlier. This personal quest leads Van to a dangerous Ukrainian arms dealer. A former U.S. Army Ranger, Van is highly capable, but he’s not ridiculously so, and he’s ready to accept assistance from others, including new friend Wren Marchand, who helps get him out of more than one jam. Action sequences nicely balance planning and surveillance scenes, and plenty of surprises keep readers guessing. Hamilton makes the connections among his satisfyingly realized characters seem so natural that the whole feels like something that might actually happen. Hopefully, Van will be back soon. Agent: Lisa Erbach Vance, Aaron Priest Literary. (July)