cover image A Stranger at the Door: A Rachel Marin Thriller

A Stranger at the Door: A Rachel Marin Thriller

Jason Pinter. Thomas & Mercer, $15.95 trade paper (392p) ISBN 978-1-5420-0594-4

At the start of Pinter’s outstanding sequel to 2020’s Hide Away, high school teacher Matthew Linklater sends an email to single mother Rachel Martin, a forensic consultant to the Ashby, Ill., PD, saying he has information “regarding a few of our students, and their dealings with people who, to put it mildly, do not have their best interests at heart.” A short time later, someone hits Linklater with a wrench, ties him to his bed, lets a rat eat into his body, and sets his house on fire. (The fire kills him.) When Rachel joins the police investigation into the teacher’s murder, she discovers that some vicious people have been exploiting at-risk boys, including her emotionally withdrawn 14-year-old son, Eric. Rachel first contends with the man behind an outwardly benign boys’ organization, and then those behind him, two psychopathic brothers who are running a money-laundering ring. Rachel’s no female Jack Reacher, but she’s tough physically and morally—even while struggling with qualms about her own past actions and terrified of what could happen to Eric and her daughter, Megan. Readers will cheer her every step of the way. This powerful family-values thriller is a convincing, moving performance. Agent: Amy Tannenbam, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Jan.)