cover image Deadlock: A Thriller

Deadlock: A Thriller

James Byrne. Minotaur, $28 (368p) ISBN 978-1-250-80578-2

What appears to be a simple kidnapping case becomes a global emergency in Byrne’s exhilarating second entry in the Dez Limerick series (after 2022’s The Gatekeeper). Irish ex-mercenary Limerick hustles to Oregon from California when his friend, Raziah Swann, sends out a personal SOS: her journalist sister, Laleh, has been abducted and beaten by thugs while researching an article on accounting irregularities at Clockjack, a tech conglomerate whose tentacles stretch across entire industries and levels of government. Dez quickly neutralizes the immediate threat, disposing of Laleh’s captors with crippling physical force. But when he digs into what caused the seemingly disproportionate attack, he learns that Clockjack plans use its technologies to acquire sensitive intelligence and topple foreign governments—so he infiltrates the company’s headquarters outside Portland, using every tool at his disposal to bust up the scheme. Byrne continues to refine Dez into an appealing lead: a loyal friend trained in military assault tactics who would rather use charm than violence to get his way. His breadth of abilities—he’s equally adept at computer hacking and plucking his guitar on a nightclub stage—may occasionally strain belief, but he’s a good choice for action thriller fans who may have tired of Jack Reacher. This series seems destined for a long run. (Aug.)