The series that started it all!
A riveting and explosive novel, The Kill Clause is a brilliantly inventive tour de force by a powerful new master of suspense.
Tim Rackley is a dangerous man of honor, a deputy U.S. marshal who is very good at his job—until everything he believes in is shattered by the brutal murder of his own daughter.
Betrayed by an imperfect judicial system, Rackley watches helplessly as the killer walks free on a legal technicality. Devastated, furious, and burning with a righteous need for vengeance, he is suddenly forced to explore his own deadly options—a quest that leads him into a shadowy no-man's-land between justice and the law . . . and into the welcoming fold of "the Commission."
A vigilante group made up of people like him—relentless streetwise operators who have each lost a loved one to violent crime—the Commission confronts the failings of a system that sets predators loose to hunt again, cleaning up society's "mistakes" covertly, efficiently, and permanently. But as he is dragged deeper into a deadly morass of hidden agendas and murderous justice, Tim Rackley discovers that playing God is an excruciating and fearsome task. When his new secret life starts coming unwound at an alarming speed, he is suddenly caught in the most terrifying struggle he has ever faced—a desperate battle to save his marriage, his career, his life, his soul . . . and everything left that's worth fighting for.
A motley crew of ex-cops and fringe characters, who have all lost loved ones and seen the villains walk, are organized into a vigilante hit squad by a media personality who sees this as a good launchpad for his books in this first thriller in a projected series by Hurwitz (Do No Harm; Minutes to Burn). The squad or the Commission, as it calls itself chooses as executioner Tim Rackley, a US marshal and former Special Forces muscle who is vulnerable to their offer, having just lost his only child in a gruesome attack ("her remains had required three biohazard bags to depart the scene"). Devastated, Rackley leaves his job and his wife, a county sheriff, to take the assignment, disappearing into the murk of L.A. to begin a series of high-tech hits on high-profile criminals who have slipped through the system's cracks including the man who, Rackley believes, killed his daughter. But Rackley suspects the Commission of fuzzy logic after one unclear target assessment leads two of the Commission (a murderous pair of bulked-up ex-cop brothers called, none too subtly, the "Mastersons") to go on a rampage, invoking the Commission's "kill clause" the immediate (and brutal) dissolution of the squad. Caught between his former law enforcement colleagues and the Mastersons' rising bloodlust, Tim must risk one more vigilante act to put justice back in the hands of the courts. The high gore level and farfetched premise give the novel a cartoonish edge, but Hurwitz's deft descriptions of Tim's methods of disappearing, breaking-and-entering, and stealing identities are convincing, and his fast-paced plotting will keep readers riveted. Tim is a promising series hero, with his multitude of skills and conflicted loyalties, and Hurwitz is off to a fine start with this first installment. Major ad/promo; 5-city author tour.