cover image A Talent for Killing

A Talent for Killing

Ralph Dennis. Brash, $18.99 trade paper (328p) ISBN 978-1-732-42263-6

According to the publisher, Lee Goldberg (True Fiction) has combined Dennis’s Deadman’s Game (1976), his first Kane novel, with its unpublished sequel, substantially editing both in the process, to produce this breathless, lean noir thriller. Kane, a top-notch agent for the CIA, loses his memory after suffering a concussion during a botched mission that also leaves him with physical and emotional scars. After Kane leaves the CIA and becomes an assassin for hire, the agency decides to send one of their own, Bull Racklin, to eliminate him. Racklin tracks his quarry to Ansonville, Ga., where Kane has gone undercover to exact vengeance on members of the mob who murdered a man, Barton Fisk, who stole more than $100,000 from them and later roughed up Barton’s sister. In a subsequent case, Kane goes on the warpath to find the true killer of a five-year-old boy before the person wrongly imprisoned for the crime is executed. Dennis (1931–1988) doesn’t mince words. Every line is razor sharp and without an ounce of fat. Jason Bourne fans will find a lot to like. (Sept.)