Source: Review copy
Publication: 13 April 2023 from Canelo Action
My thanks to Canelo Action for an advance copy for review
Letty Davenport’s days working a desk job are behind her. Her previous actions at a gunfight in Texas – and her incredible skills with firearms – draw the attention of several branches of the US government, and make her a perfect fit for even more dangerous work.
The Department of Homeland Security tasks her with infiltrating a hacker group that is intent on wreaking havoc nationwide. Letty and her reluctant partner from the NSA pose as free-spirited programmers for hire and embark on a cross country road trip to the group’s California headquarters.
But soon they begin to suspect that the hackers are not their only enemy. Someone within their own circle may have betrayed them, and has ulterior motives that place their mission – and their lives – in grave danger.
You know you’re getting old when you start reading about the sons, or in this case, daughters of your favourite investigators and they now have series in their own right. I have long been a fan of John Sandford’s Prey series with the main character Lucas Davenport. Dark Angel is the second in the Letty Davenport series, following The Investigator.
Letty Davenport is the adopted daughter of Lucas Davenport. Her background is one that is both dark and violent and Letty herself is now no stranger to the use of lethal firearms. She is a Stanford graduate with a master’s in economics and she ostensibly works for Republican U.S. Senator Colles. In reality though, Colles has her doing investigative work the Department of Homeland Security.
Dark Angel could hardly be more contemporary and as fast paced action thrillers with a contemporary edge go, this one is right up there. This time she is on a joint investigation with the Department of Homeland Security and the NSA. Her job is to infiltrate a hacker group known as Ordinary People who create havoc and make money from demanding ransoms after hacking corporate websites. Intelligence tells them that this group is planning to cut off gas supplies in the midst of a freezing winter.
Letty isn’t a computer expert, but they pair her with Rod Baxter, a real Twinkie eating computer geek for this job. Although they don’t take long to make contact and begin to make inroads into the group, Letty does not take long to suspect that she isn’t being told the whole truth.
When the real story emerges, it becomes clear that Letty and Baxter are in a fight for not only their lives, but for freedom and democracy.
There’s lots of quite gungo-ho politics in this, so you just have to go with the flow here in what is a very fast moving, thriller with lots of action and some great characters. I loved Letty’s Peacemaker colleagues and Barb Cartwright in particular; who I am sure we will see more of in future episodes.
There’s some good wry humour in this action packed thriller that’s as contemporary as it can be and Sandford writes a taut and fascinating thriller with plenty of shoot-outs to keep the pace flowing.
Verdict: A great new series with a kick-ass female protagonist. I lapped it all up. Thank goodness for guns and America.
Bookshop.org Waterstones Hive Stores
John Sandford is the pseudonym for John Camp, the award-winning journalist and bestselling author of the Prey series, the Kidd series and the Virgil Flowers series. Sandford won the Pulitzer Prize in journalism in 1986, and has published over 50 novels, most of which have appeared, in one format or another, on the New York Times best-seller lists