Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.
This book starts in a leisurely fashion then quickly takes off, setting the fastest pace of any book I’ve read recently. Almost all of the action takes place in one breath-taking harrowing day, but though the book gripped and terrified me so much I could hardly put it down, a short summary of The Widow File--a thriller set in an elite security firm--would not necessarily have made me want to read it. Luckily I’ve learned to trust S. G. Redling’s skill as a storyteller, and if you look a little closer at the description there are clues this thriller is going to be special, the most important being that the main character Dani isn’t glamorous, she’s short and nerdy and reads people by examining their trash.
Rasmund, the security firm Dani works for, uses her idiosyncratic talents to thwart industrial espionage for high paying corporate clients. Though she’s quite fond of her co-workers she’s something of a loner, and gets so caught up in her work she’s disappointed when their most recent job is cancelled. Since she takes her work home she has to go back to her apartment to retrieve materials--in her case it’s mostly trash--that must be returned to the client, but when she gets back to Rasmund she finds all her colleagues dead, shot by the very thorough team of assassins she’s now trapped in the building with.
To stay alive she must escape and stay one step ahead of the determined hit man who is sure she has something he wants, though Dani has no idea what it is. Her only weapons are a quirky intelligence that notices patterns other people don’t, and the canny habits she learned from her truck driving father on their cross country trips together.
Widow File is the third book I’ve read by S. G. Redling, and I highly recommend them all. Though their settings and circumstances are impressively varied, so far each of her novels features an off-beat female character whose personal drama is part of a monumental event. Widow File has Dani caught up in what looks like some kind of industrial terrorism, Flowertown has a deadbeat junkie trapped in a massive chemical containment disaster that poisons and permanently quarantines a town full of people, and in Damocles the main character is a lone linguist in the midst of engineers, all thrown together on a long-term space mission in search of human-like life forms that results in first contact.