Title: Zero Warning
Series: By the Numbers: Book Zero
Author: John Charles
Publisher: Manifest Vision Publishing
At a Glance: This novel was a page turner. There’s suspense, action, danger, and some solid secondary characters.
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: When FBI agent Mateo Hachman took the undercover assignment, he knew the risks. Infiltrate the Proveedores Consortium and get enough on them to bring down the inner circle.
It took almost five years, but Mateo not only infiltrated the consortium, he was elevated to the prestigious inner circle. From his vantage point, he provided enough evidence to bring down Demarco Sanchez the head of the Proveedores as well as over a dozen high level members. For decades, Sanchez was the target of every agency in the US. He had his fingers in everything from drugs, to contraband, to counterfeit designer handbags. But they never could gain enough evidence to arrest him. With Mateo’s testimony, he received multiple life sentences. He would never see the light of day again.
When henchman Abraham Garceau was sentenced for multiple counts of murder, he swore he’d find a way to torture Mateo until he begged to die.
Eight years later, Mateo had a new name, new career, and new life. In those eight years, he never stopped looking over his shoulder, never let his defenses slip, and never got close to anyone until he met Isaac Konners. Konners was everything he wanted in a partner. Getting close to Isaac would mean breaking his personal vow and endangering an innocent person. Yet, Isaac wormed his way into his heart, took hold, and wouldn’t let go.
In what appeared to be an inside job, Garceau escaped from a prisoner transport van and disappeared. Several weeks later, a video played on every news channel. A close-up of Garceau looking into the camera filled the screen.
“This video is for one person and one person only – Mateo Hachman. I promised I’d get you no matter how long it took and now that I’m free of that f*cked up prison and those bullsh*t guards; I intend to keep my promise.”
Suddenly Mateo was pulled into the worst nightmare anyone could have imagined. The one man who could and would find him was promising to do just that. Revenge was strong with Garceau and his word was law. He never broke his word.
Did he know where to look? Did he know Mateo’s new name? What about his new looks? And what about Isaac? How could he protect Isaac from that lunatic?
Review: Scott Wittier (aka Matteo Hachman) has been living on the edge for seven years. His new life has given him a chance to earn tenure as a professor at the Colorado School of Mines. He loves living in Golden, and most everything about his life—except for his past, as that continues to haunt him.
Looking for solitude in the campus library, Scott meets Isaac Konners, who’s working on his dissertation in human physiology for a think tank. They’re both surprised that they have a common understanding of the subjects they discuss. Although they text and talk on the phone, their demanding schedules prevented them from getting together…but when they finally do, sparks fly between them. It has Scott yearning for a sincere relationship with Isaac, but he knows it isn’t safe. He doesn’t want a permanent relationship because he still fears he will put another life in danger.
When a nemesis from Scott’s past escapes from prison, Scott has no choice but to pick up the hidden burner phone that connects him to Asher Radman. Scott needs a guarantee that he is safe, but he fears there could be a mole in the FBI, so he decides to take matters into his own hands. He takes extra precautions to protect not only himself but Isaac as well. But even with Garceau coming for revenge, Scott still keeps the truth from Isaac. Will the past destroy what they have? When Asher and his team show up at Scott’s door, there’s no turning back. It’s time for Scott to overcome his fears.
I highly recommend reading A Cold Summer Sky before this book. It introduces Asher, a Special Agent with the FBI, beginning in his youth when he faced losing his parents. It shows how he succeeded, with the help of his grandparents, to joining the FBI. It tells the story of how he met Kyle, who owns the CoffeePorium, and gives a glimpse of their three-year relationship, which can be fragile at times. The plot involves a manufacturer of a money saving utility invention, so why is it bringing danger to a rural Kentucky town? Asher and his team take us through the technical procedure in tracking down and questioning suspects who are keeping their own secrets.
Both of these novels are page turners. There’s suspense, action, danger, and some solid secondary characters. The series also has an intriguing twist, Asher Radman, who isn’t the main character; he’s not the big hero or there to save the day, he just does his job when called upon. The plot is focused on Scott and allows him to tell his story—about how he struggles through his fears, tragedies, and just wants a normal life with Isaac. He also shows his strength in taking control of his situation. There are some intense moments between Isaac and Scott, and throwing Garceau into the mix, along with the other dangers, had me on edge. There were not a lot of clues for when Scott would come face to face with Garceau, and what will take place, so it was certainly surprising.
From what I can tell, John Charles is working on the next installment in the series entitled 11 Seconds. I have a clue what it’s about, so I’m curious to see how this story unfolds and brings Asher Radman into the fray.
You can buy Zero Warning here:
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