One of the good things about holiday down time is getting caught up on some reading. I sat up until I finished Michael Marshall's The Intruders last night. It was not an arduous task because it is an engrossing book, similar in flavor to the author's Straw Men trilogy yet filled with its own twists and thrills.
Like The Straw Men, The Upright Man and Blood of Angels, the tale revolves around a first-person narrator who is struggling to unravel a complex conspiracy linked to a loved one.
In this case it's Jack Whalen, a cop turned writer who's settled into a seemingly blissful existence in a small Pacific Northwestern town. It provides him a nice place to write while his wife, an ad agency trouble shooter, commutes to cities where her services are required.
Meanwhile, triggered by events that are a bit foggy, a young girl named Madison begins a strange odyssey through Portland's mean streets and beyond.
Whalen is approached by an old school friend to investigate a strange double murder in Seattle, but he turns down the opportunity only to be dragged in when Amy, his wife, loses her cell phone and he discovers she's not staying the hotel in Seattle where he though she was registered.
Strange events swirl together and Jack gradually begins to uncover a shadowy group linked to his wife. To say more would spoil the fun, but suffice it to say it's more than just a conventional suspense thriller.
The solution may not be totally new territory, but it's handled with the same deft touch that kept me reading through the entire Straw Men experience, and that provides the same rewarding experience again.
I'll be waiting for the next Michael Marshall book for sure.