There is something about the character, Joe Pike, that endears him to the reader. Pike is an ex-mercenary, ex-Los Angeles Police Officer and a man who cares for the less fortunate or abused.
As this excellent story unfolds, Joe is at a gas station when he sees two men swagger into a sandwich shop. Their body language telling all that they mean to do something malicious. When Joe enters the store to see what's transpiring, the men have the store owner on the floor and are administering a beating to him. Joe dispatches one of the men and the other beats a hasty retreat out the back door.
The attacker who Joe took care of is arrested but later that night, someone throws a can of paint through the store window.
The owner's niece, Dru Rayne, asks Joe to help. Joe learns that the gang is trying to shake down store owners for protection money. Joe approaches the gang leader and obtains the man's assurance that the hostilities toward this store will desist.
Dru and Joe go out for coffee and Joe learns of Dru's past in New Orleans. She also shows him a photo of her child. It seems as if this could be the start of a romantic attachment.
Again, the next night, someone enters the store, certain things are done and a sign is painted on the wall, "I am here."
The story continues at a fast pace. Violence and suspense mount as Joe, the authorities and others look for Dru and her uncle. There are plot twists and surprises as the story unfolds.
I found myself totally drawn to this story or heroism and courage on Joe's part. I now know what the meaning of a white knuckle story is.
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