Patriot Acts by Greg Rucka
Suspense/Thriller; 338 pgs
Rating: (Good +)
First Sentence: I have never wanted to kill anyone as much as I wanted to kill the son of a bitch in front of me right now.
Reason for Reading: This is a Curled Up With A Good Book selection. I actually requested this one quite a while ago, not realizing it was part of the Atticus Kodiak series. Because the books tie so closely together, with one exception, I decided it might be a good idea to start from the beginning and work my way through the series.
Comments: Author Greg Rucka has come a long way since he first wrote and published Keeper, the first novel in the Atticus Kodiak series. Atticus Kodiak is a bodyguard who hires out his protection services, often taking on cases that put his life and those of his team in great peril. No matter the circumstances, Atticus is dedicated to his job and protecting his principal, the person who hired his services. He would put his own life on the line in order to keep his principal alive. Patriot Acts is the sixth novel in the series, a series that is best read in order, each book building on the one before it.
Patriot Acts begins where the fifth novel in the series, Critical Space, left off, with the death of one of the world's most feared assassins. Already wanted for a murder he did not commit, Atticus' only recourse is to go on the run to sort everything out. The safe house where Atticus, his team and the person he had been protecting have been hiding is compromised and no one is safe as the bullets begin to fly.
Having lost all of his friends in one way or another, Atticus only has Alena Cizkova, known to the authorities as Drama, to turn to. She is a cold-blooded killer and is being targeted by the same people who are after him. In order to clear Atticus' name and save both of their lives, the two must put their heads together and plan; but first, they need to uncover the identity of the person that is out to get them. The more Atticus learns, the more he realizes just how high the stakes are and the more dangerous the chase becomes. From the East Coast to Eastern Europe and from the West Coast into the heart of America, Patriot Acts takes the reader all over the map.
Atticus Kodiak, named after a character from Lee Harper’s To Kill a Mockingbird, has the skills of an assassin and the heart of a protector, but when those closest to him are threatened no rules apply. Atticus knows that he may have to step over the line of killing to save a life to murdering someone in cold blood, and this weighs on his conscience.
Alena, on the other hand, wants nothing more than to lead a quiet life and to retire from being a killer-for-hire. She thought her heart cold, but as time passes, she learns that she is more human than she realized. She worries about losing that as the race for her life accelerates, and she is suddenly thrust back into her old role again. The author captures all of this as the story unfolds at break neck speed, adding a vulnerability to the characters who might otherwise seem too hard and tough.
Greg Rucka spins a wild tale that is not only captivating, but is emotionally charged as well. Intense and action packed from the very first page, Patriot Acts takes the reader on a roller coaster ride of suspense and intrigue. Originally published on Curled Up With a Good Book. © Wendy Runyon, 2008