Michael Sloan, co-creator of the classic 1980s TV series--the basis for the feature films starring Denzel Washington--reinvents the story of the mysterious, former covert intelligence officer who helps desperate people who are in need of his unique and deadly skills.
Robert McCall is a former covert operations officer for the CIA who tries to atone for past sins by offering, free of charge, his services as a troubleshooter (often literally), a protector, and an investigator. People in need find him through a newspaper ad and on the internet: "Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer."
Aided by a group of sometimes-mysterious contacts (some of whom date back to his spying days), McCall traverses the streets of New York City, visiting justice upon those who prey upon the weak.
In this novel, based on the 1980s television show, and timed to come out shortly before the feature film version starring Denzel Washington, McCall goes up against an old enemy, a Chechen nightclub owner, who now runs an elite assassination service to try and save the life of an innocent woman.
Based on the 1980s TV show about a CIA agent turned-vigilante, this prequel presents the backstory of how Robert McCall went from N.Y.C. bartender, attempting to remain below the radar of former colleagues and enemies, to a righter of wrongs for those faced with problems and no avenues for help. Sloan, a co-creator of the TV series, gets some details wrong (e.g., no one refers to the New York subway lines by color). More importantly, characters don't act or think in logical ways. In a storyline in parallel to McCall's intervention on behalf of an abused hooker, a master assassin fails to anticipate that the controllers of a female spy he's stalking in Russia might know the location of her backup safe house. Later, McCall makes a completely baffling choice while dealing with a serial criminal that has consequences readers will anticipate, even if McCall somehow doesn't. Having the hero advertise his services on Craigslist doesn't make this fresh.