An idyllic California town. A deadly secret. A race against killers hidden in plain sight. . . .
“Extraordinary! I can think of no other thriller that portrays its vital themes—all relevant to our times—in such a riveting and up close and personal way.”—Jeffery Deaver, author of The Bone Collector
Rancho Santa Elena in 1987 seems like the ideal Southern California paradise—that is, until a series of strange crimes threatens to unravel the town’s social fabric: workers attacked with mysterious weapons; a wealthy real estate developer found dead in the pool of his beach house. The only clues are poison and red threads found at both crime scenes. As Detective Benjamin Wade and forensic expert Natasha Betencourt struggle to connect the incidents, they begin to wonder: Why Santa Elena? And why now?
Soon Ben zeroes in on a vicious gang of youths involved in the town’s burgeoning white power movement. As he and Natasha uncover the truth about Santa Elena’s unsavory underbelly, Ben discovers that the group is linked to a much wider terror network, one that’s using a new technology called the internet to spread its ideology, plan attacks, and lure young men into doing its bidding. Ben closes in on identifying the gang’s latest target, hoping that the young recruit will lead him to the mastermind of the growing network. But as he digs deeper in an ever-widening investigation, Ben is forced to confront uncomfortable truths about himself and his beloved community, where corruption is ignored and prejudice is wielded against fellow citizens without fear of reprisal.
Chilling and timely, The Recruit follows one man’s descent into the darkness lurking just beneath the respectable veneer of modern life.
Set in 1987, Drew's devastating sequel to 2017's Shadow Man finds police detective Ben Wade responding to an emergency call in Rancho Santa Elena, a planned community south of Los Angeles. Ben drives to a nearby home, where he finds a distraught mother holding a small boy who's not breathing. Ben manages to get the boy breathing again and drives him to the hospital, where it's determined he accidentally ingested rat poison. The heinous intent of the near-lethal incident becomes apparent after the body of the child's missing dog is found in connection with a hate crime targeting a Vietnamese grocery store owner and his family. Ben's girlfriend, forensic expert Natasha Betencourt, becomes involved after discovering evidence linking the murder of real estate developer Walter Brennan with the crime scenes of other targeted racial attacks. Ben believes Brennan's killing was in retaliation for his leasing properties to immigrants, whom some view as a threat. Ben and Natasha soon get on the trail of a growing white supremacist movement. Drew takes a nuanced approach in tackling the conflicts of gentrification. This socially complex police procedural, with its issues that remain all too relevant today, deserves a wide audience. Agent: Dorian Karchmar, WME.