Gregg Hurwitz continues to be a terrifically compelling writer and his Deputy US Marshall character, Tim Rackley, has become a don't miss read. His books are intelligently written, filled with suspense, and carried by action sequences at breakneck pacing. In "Last Shot", Rackley is faced with moral dilemmas and with introspective confrontations with his own philosophical beliefs and codes that give deeper insight into his character.
Rackley must pursue a recent escapee from Terminal Island Penitentiary, Walker Jameson, who quickly seems determined to leave a trail of bodies in his seach for justice for the killing of his sister, Tess. The problem for Rackley is that Jameson is as good or a little better in spec. ops. strategizing, tactics, and killing than he is. Further complicating Rackley's pursuit is his growing realization that as more and more is uncovered about Jameson's life, military career, and "code of honor", the more Tim respects him and his mission--knowing all the while that the two of them are destined for a violent climax.
Tess Jameson was seeking a miracle cure for her liver diseased 7 year old when she turned up dead in an apparent suicide. Walker gets a cryptic piece of information from a snitch that impels him to escape from a high security prison and begin investigating Tess's "suicide" as a murder. Of course, as in many of Hurwitz' books, he must come into conflict with corporate America bad-boys, this time a mega pharmaceutical empire set to unveil a "cure" for what ails Walker's nephew.
Walker Jameson is a skilled man hunter and tactical technician who will enthrall you with his ploys, his secrets, and his various strategems to garner valuable information against his enemies but also in his ability to out guess Rackley's crew of deputies and even "use" Rackley for his own purposes. The strategical cat and mouse struggle between Jameson and Rackley propels the action and storyline at breakneck speed and keeps the reader guessing as to how this can possible turn out and perhaps, even hoping Jameson emerges intact in the end.
As with most of Hurwitz' books, my attention was quickly captured as two very volatile, higly trained, and complex individuals were drawn into each other's spheres of activity and which made them adversaries and collaborators at the same moments. The action and violence underscores the search for the truth about Tess's death, the fate of the dying nephew, and ultimately, Rackley's commitment to do his duty. He, as mentioned, questions himself, his skills, what he would do in a similar situation, and, ultimately, how man can be both bad and good at the same time.
I enjoyed the Walker Jameson character immensely and likened him (with more of a cynical edge) to Bob Lee Swagger in the Stephen Hunter series. I found myself smiling at his tactics and successes and hoping maybe for a new exciting character in a future Hurwitz series. Lovers of action and suspense should not pass up "Last Shot".