Mason Cross – The Time to Kill

The most obvious sign that I was on vacation is that I found time to read some books. Last year, I spend quality time on The Samaritan by Mason Cross. And now I had number 3 of the Carter Blake series at hand: The Time to Kill. Actually a feature on Blake’s professional backstory working as an agent for a secret organization named Winterlong. They employed his skill to find people in world wide under the radar operations. Until they parted, not in friendship of course.

It begins with a harmless job to find and catch someone for a tech firm. But Winterlong (or rather now being an organisation with no name) is on Blake’s track since The Samaritan. And they want him badly for some digital data he kept as a security measure, and which could harm the organisation big time. As it happens, soon he is on the run together with the software thief he was meant to catch. Across the USA on train, bus and by car, trying to escape the very resourceful enemy. And to get to his stronghold, where Blake hides the compromising material.

The story is told in a breathless pace. As before, the narrator switches between Carter (in ego perspective) and others (third person view), like the organization’s leader and one of the operatives. Thus, one can easily find one’s way around, and learns the truth behind the history of Carter and his parting the organization. It’s a play, to partially know more as reader than the hero does, which makes it not less thrilling. One could complain about some extremely lucky circumstances making Carter survive several times, but that is part of why the story is worth telling. Overall, it is quite plausible and definitely action packed to the last page.

I like Blake, and I like the writing style. I’m sure when my vacation comes back, the fourth book will come to me.