Nov 192015

Cover for Owen Laukkanen's The Watcher in the Walls.Booklist: Crime-fighting duo FBI agent Carla Windermere and Minnesota BCA agent Kirk Stevens (The Stolen Ones, 2015) are drawn into the hunt for an online predator when questions arise about the suicide of a classmate of Stevens’ daughter, Andrea. After promising Andrea they’d poke around, Windermere and Stevens find that the troubled teen forged a suicide pact with a girl she met on an online suicide site. FBI tech experts determine that the girl’s heavily cloaked identity is a cover for a predator who has lured other teens to their deaths. Chat logs reveal that their predator has two other victims lined up, and the hunt for a cunning killer becomes a desperate bid to save a young girl’s life. Suspension of disbelief is required as Windermere and Stevens’ boss authorizes an arsenal of resources for a case he declares isn’t under FBI or BCA jurisdiction, but Laukkanen skillfully distracts from this pesky detail with earnest characterization and incomparable pacing. This is a guaranteed lost weekend for Laukkanen’s fans and for anyone those seeking a Lee Child–like adrenaline rush.