Shaker by Scott Frank
Hardcover: 335 pages
A swarm of nearly seven hundred small earthquakes – most in the 2.0 to 3.0 range – rattled the Mojave Desert between June and September.
The Overview: Beware of Spoilers…
Following a major earthquake, Ray Cooper is sent to LA to kill a man. Cooper has the experience and a reputation for getting the job done efficiently without blowback. Despite the chaos the quake caused, the hit goes well. As Cooper walks back to his car he stumbles on to a mugging. Given the option, Cooper would prefer to keep walking, but the muggers see him and things quickly escalate. An old man is killed and Cooper is shot twice as the gangbangers run away.
It doesn’t take long for the police to show up at the hospital where Cooper is recovering. A video surfaced showing Cooper standing up to the hoods as they kill the old man. Cooper is seen as a hero! The press is running with this angle and the video has gone viral (which is the last thing a hit man would want). The cops and the press have questions. Cooper knows that it won’t be long before the police are able to figure out his alibi for being in the area doesn’t hold water. Once that happens it’s an easy connection to the man he executed a few blocks away. Despite his weakened condition Cooper has to go on the run.
Running won’t be easy. The gangbangers that Cooper disrespected (for the world to see thanks to the viral video), want revenge. The cops want Cooper for questioning. And Cooper knows that someone far scarier than him has been sent to LA to “fix” the situation.
Scott Frank has created a crime novel with twists you won’t see coming by developing a believable cast of characters. Many authors hint at backstory, but Frank has the ability to move the story forward while at the same time showing us past events that have shaped the characters. I look forward to more novels from Scott Frank.