This is the second novel in Brett Battles' Jonathan Quinn series and while I think it could be read as a stand alone novel, the first book,The Cleaner, really does introduce all the characters and how they are connected in the second book (plus you get some background history on Quinn) but not too much is directly related back to the first. Still the first is a great read and I recommend it.
Brett Battles is back with his second novel in his Johnathan Quinn series, where an old friend leaves him a note that he never wanted to receive Anonymity. Trust. Professionalism. In his world, Jonathan Quinn has a few rules. Quinn is a cleaner, he will get rid of bodies that need to disappear and nothing will be traced back to him, but his latest is job will test all of his rules. Quinn finds himself in a shipping yard where he is staring at the body of one of the few people he trusts and calls a friend, a former CIA agent. One thing that is also known about Quinn is he holds his friends in high regard and he will do anything to find out who killed him. Quinn is out of his element as he is not a tracker but a cleaner and this mission is based on revenge. Quinn, Nate and Orlando race across the world to follow the trail that has been left for them, but they do not know who they can trust or not. But one thing is for sure they are not going to come back whole. The Deceived starts out with a bang that will grab your attention and make you not want to put the book down as you feel the need to follow the trial with Quinn and see where it is going to lead you. You never really know 100% what is going on and you are piecing together the puzzle together with Quinn which is what I really enjoy about this series. One thing that you will discovered in Battles' books is that just when you think you have it all figured out, Battles knows how to throw in a curve ball (or two or three or twelve) that has you looking in a totally new direction but still makes sense and flows with the story and it does not come out of left field. This keeps me continually guessing, which i think all thriller/mystery novels should.</ I am not a fan of series where you know too much information or information that your main character does not know and you always feel like you are waiting for them to catch up to you. I have not had this problem with either of Battles' novel. They are full of action, mystery, intrigue and thrills right from the very beginning and Battles has created a cast of characters that you care about.
I like how in the first two novels Battles has taken time to show bits of Quinn's past and his work as an apprentice cleaner as well as when he started out on his own. I feel like this allows the reader to know Quinn better before he became a full fledged cleaner and you can see some of this earlier cleaner in Nate. I personally find Quinn's past very intriguing and there are always small clues dropped about who he is but never really anything concrete I look forward to the novel where someone is after Quinn and things in his past just to learn more about him. I am also like how Quinn and Orlando's relationship is developing, and how they will be there for each other no matter what, but they both realize that the job and Garrett are the most important aspects in their lives and they don't want to do anything to jeopardize that.
Once again there is a sense of realism within Battles' novel that can be downright frightening. I do not want to give too much away, but you will know what I am talking about when you read this novel. It is entirely plausible and not unrealistic for it to happen as I am sure that it has happened throughout history so why not now as well.
I'm so happy that I picked up the Cleaner last year. I had never heard of Brett Battles or his novels but I know if I pick one of his books up its going to be an awesome ride. I look forward to reading the next book in the Jonathan Quinn series and i'm going to have to try his other series as well.