cover image Shadowed


Karen E. Olson. Severn, $28.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8599-9

Olson’s tense second Nicole Jones mystery (after 2015’s Hidden) finds the ex-hacker fugitive living on an island in the St. Lawrence River in Quebec’s Charlevoix region. Her latest alias is artist Susan McQueen. Addicted to her laptop, Nicole/Susan becomes the victim of an online ransom attack. Either she delivers a million bitcoins to her shadower or he’ll hunt down friends she left behind in the U.S. At an electronics store in Quebec City, where she goes regularly to sell her art, she encounters Alice, a hacker working for the Canadian cybercrime police, who steers her on a harrowing journey that involves being smuggled back into the U.S. As she struggles to pay the ransom, she’s supported by Tracker, an anonymous online ally. For someone who can find a hacker forum on the dark web, Nicole/Susan is surprisingly ignorant about bitcoins. Still, an unexpected discovery—and abrupt conclusion—will leave readers wondering what she’ll do in the next installment. Agent: Josh Getzler, Hannigan Salky Getzler. (June)