I feel like Ben Sanders doesn’t get mentioned often enough among the thriller-lit community, but the New Zealander is one of the best in the business when it comes to hard-hitting, trimmed-to-the-bone crime fiction. His latest, Exit .45, is the third in the Marshall Grade series, which reads like a marriage between Lee Child’s Jack Reacher and Lawrence Block’s Matthew Scudder.
It’s a classic set-up: one of Marshall’s old chums is in trouble, and has come to the former undercover NYPD detective for help. One night in a New York City diner, fellow ex-cop Ray Vialoux explains he owes a lot of money to some very bad people. Before he can continue, the night explodes with gunfire, and Ray is killed. Which makes no sense to Marshall. Why kill the person who owes you money? Which leaves Marshall wondering who else Ray made an enemy out of, and how he’s going to even the score.
Tautly plotted, economically rendered, Sanders has studied the masters and become one himself. Nobody does this stuff better.
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 5th January 2022
Publisher: Allen & Unwin