A Thin Line, One of the Year’s Best Thrillers

The Bottom Line: One of the year’s best thrillers. Fans of Michael Connelly’s Bosch series will love Agent Garrison Chase.

When FBI Agent Garrison Chase’s old mentor Slim shows up unannounced and badly beaten, he knows trouble can’t be far behind. Years earlier, Chase and Slim had been recruited to kill a Thai General and human trafficker called The Rat. They failed, and now Slim is set to testify against him – if he can first survive an attempted poisoning.

Chase knows that simply by association, his own life may already be in danger. Meanwhile, he learns that Slim has been hired by congresswoman and presidential candidate Henrietta Valenzuela to investigate her opponent  Barrington Bradford Bollinger III. She purportedly suspects that the candidate is faking his blindness, and Slim asks for Chase’s help. But before he can make much progress, Chase is framed for the murder of someone he’s close to.

The second installment in author Craig N. Hooper’s Garrison Chase series begins with a bang, featuring one of the greatest opening lines we’ve seen all year: “The man who taught me two different ways to kill a person with my index finger showed up on my doorstep at twenty past six.” As with Hooper’s stellar debut, The Greatest Good, The Thin Line manages to operate within the dirty world of politics without being remotely political while delivering a thoroughly satisfying FBI procedural. While Chase has his theories as to the complex network of human trafficking, murder and politics at the book’s core, Hooper manages to deliver surprises until the very end.

Much like Harry Bosch in Michael Connelly’s outrageously successful series, Chase is obsessed with two things: delivering justice in a hopelessly unjust world, and protecting the fragmented remains of his family. Written in the first person, Chase exudes humanity and a depth of character that is rare for the genre. In particular, his relationship with Karla is expertly written, beautifully exploring the reality that those close to him always seem to pay a high price. Highly recommended.

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Bella Wright

Bella Wright blogs about books, film and media.

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