There aren't a lot of Pulitzer Prize-winner/#1 New York Times best sellers out there, so when John Sandford says he likes a book, it might not hurt to pay attention. Sandford is the author of twenty-two Prey novels and eleven other works of fiction, most recently the Virgil Flowers novel Shock Wave. Here's what he had to say about a debut thriller that's being published in ten days:
"The list of things that can foul up a perfectly good thriller is a long one. Sometimes they are so prevalent that if you go into a mystery bookstore and ask the owner, 'Anything new and good?,' he may have twenty new books around the counter, and maybe he’ll hand you one.
"Some of the other writers will learn the trade, eventually, but this one, this one’s worth reading right now.
"Owen Laukkanen is a new guy, but you’d never know it. The Professionals is one of those books that you’ll tend to read in one sitting. The basic story involves a crew of professional kidnappers who have refined their technique to an art form— until they stumble, and art turns to blood. Laukkanen writes so well that his prose disappears into the story, and you live it: The Professionals is full of real people, struggling through extreme circumstances, but nothing that you don’t believe. Both the good and the bad guys come in a variety of flavors, and his cops combine wit and charm—in fact, his pairing of FBI agent Carla Windermere and BCA agent Kirk Stevens is so good and full of possibilities that I can’t wait to see what they do next.
"The Professionals is a real, down-and-dirty thriller: the story never, ever slows down.
"If I were you, I’d get started now."