Had Logan Harper known just how non-routine his routine morning stop for coffee on the way to work was going to turn out he may well have stayed in bed. Surprised to find the shop still closed, Logan goes around to the back entrance and finds the owner, Tun “Tooney” Myat, beaten, on his knees, a gun to his head, one short trigger pull away from being murdered.
Logan, an ex-military man now working as a mechanic, uses his not entirely rusty skills to run the would be murderer off and calls his father, Tooney’s longtime friend, to come to the shop and help Tooney while Logan gives chase. After losing the assailant during a car chase, Logan rendezvous with Tooney and his father at the hospital, where he finds the two men are not alone.
Their group of friends – who affectionately call themselves the Wise Ass Old Men, or WAMO (yes, they know the M and O are reversed, thank you very much) – have put in an appearance. Not only that, but they are lying to medical personnel, claiming Tooney’s injuries are the result of a mugging. Despite Logan’s pleas to the contrary, Tooney insists the police not be called. When the WAMO crew stands behind Tooney’s decision, Logan demands to be told why they are so opposed to the idea.
Turns out Tooney’s college-age granddaughter didn’t show up for a scheduled visit, and he’s afraid the visit he received is related to her disappearance and that any law enforcement involvement will have disastrous consequences. Against his better judgment Logan agrees to go to Los Angeles and look into the matter. What he finds quickly spirals out of control, unearthing a plot that involves international politics and corporate greed, taking Logan on a journey from L.A. to Thailand, and into some dark memories he’d rather forget.
Brett Battles, author of the outstanding Jonathan Quinn series (The Silenced being the most recent release), introduces new series character Logan Harper with a bang in Little Girl Gone. The action jumps off right from the opening chapter and never lets up, taking the reader on a whirlwind race against the clock to find the missing young woman. Despite the breakneck pace, however, character development never takes a backseat.
As the reader learns over the course of the book, Logan is carrying a tremendous amount of guilt over an event that occurred when he was working for a private security firm, an event which also involved a young girl. His quest to find Tooney’s missing granddaughter, it turns out, is as much a quest for redemption as it is to simply locate a missing person. Supporting characters from the Wise Ass Old Men – what Hell’s Angels would look like if they were all ex-military and their youngest member was on the far side of 60 – also make memorable impressions, as does Daeng, an operative Logan meets in Thailand.
Readers have come to expect from the well traveled Battles the inclusion of at least one far flung (from the U.S. at least) locale in his stories, and Little Girl Gone is no exception. The character of Tooney is an immigrant from Burma, now known as Myanmar, and Battles has devised a plot that incorporates the political unrest and oppression in that country smoothly into the storyline. Additionally, much of Little Girl Gone’s endgame unfolds in Thailand, and Battles does a masterful job of bringing the country to life with his detailed and colorful descriptions.
Fans of Battles’ Jonathan Quinn series will welcome Logan Harper to the family with open arms, and those new to Battles’ writing…well, now you have two great new characters to get acquainted with.