Owen Laukkanen’s debut novel, The Professionals is, without a doubt, one of the best new thrillers I’ve read in years. Laukkanen has done everything right. The novel is fast-paced, the dialogue believable and the characters realistic and sympathetic. Even though the gang is breaking the law, you can’t help but root for them. This is the kind of book I love! I picked it up, started reading and literally could NOT put it down! I can’t believe that this is the first effort of this writer. He is going on my list of authors to look out for in the future. I WILL buy his next book.
In the beginning of The Professionals, four friends, recent college graduates, caught in a terrible job market, joke about turning to kidnapping to survive. And then, suddenly, it’s no joke. For two years, the strategy they devise, quick, efficient, low risk, works like a charm, until it doesn’t. They kidnap the wrong man and find themselves in more trouble than they ever anticipated.
Now two groups they’ve very much wanted to avoid are after them. The law, in the form of veteran state investigator Kirk Stevens and hotshot young FBI agent Carla Windermere, and an organized-crime outfit looking for payback. As they all crisscross the country in deadly pursuit and a series of increasingly explosive confrontations, each of them is ultimately forced to recognize the truth: The true professionals cop or criminal, are those who are willing to sacrifice everything.
Laukkanen develops the characters and sets a pace of action and suspense that will take the reader on an unforgettable ride, with memorable characters and actions that touch emotions and keep the pages flipping well into the night. A finger burning page turner filled with twists, turns and memorable characters you’ll remember long after reading, The End.
Laukkanen is hard at work writing the next book featuring the Stevens-Windermere crime stopping duo and I can’t wait for the next book to come out.