cover image Dead Man Switch

Dead Man Switch

Matthew Quirk. Mulholland, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-0-316-25923-1

Special ops legend John Hayes, now retired, gets back on the job once it becomes apparent that someone is systematically killing members of his former squad—the darkest of all military units, Cold Harvest—in Quirk’s dazzling sequel to 2016’s Cold Barrel Zero. Hayes investigates one death after another, all carefully disguised as accidents (an apparent cliff fall in California, a home-invasion robbery gone wrong in Virginia). As he crosses the country, Hayes comes to the unsettling realization that his former protégé, assassin Claire Rhodes, is a prime suspect, though what her motive might be is baffling. Also at the top of the suspect list is Niko Hynd, a high-level Pakistani terrorist, whose operations were seriously degraded by Cold Harvest raids in recent years. Hayes, an incredibly capable, unapologetic rogue, fights the good fight and reveals the secrets of how he’s doing it as he goes. Right up to the tense finale in New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza, Quirk never strikes a dull or off-key note. Agent: Shawn Coyne, Endeavor Agency. (Mar.)