Author: S. G. Redling
Publication: Thomas & Mercer (January 1, 2014)
Description: Dani, a data analyst with an elite security firm, possesses the unnerving ability to read people by the trash they leave behind. Receipts, parking tickets, the detritus of daily life—if you leave it behind, she will figure you out.
Her latest case involves high-tech industrial espionage at a corporation with ties to the military. But when a team of assassins sweeps through the firm, stealing all files and killing her coworkers, Dani narrowly escapes. Whoever ordered the strike thinks Dani has vital information and they put a hit man named Booker on her trail.
Armed with only her wits and a bag of random investigation materials, Dani must figure out who the enemy really is while playing a high-stakes game of cat and mouse with the cunning hit man who has an agenda of his own.
My Thoughts: THE WIDOW FILE was a gritty, realistic thriller with a very complicated plot. Dani works for an exclusive and secretive investigative firm outside Washington, D.C. She is what they call a Paint. Her specialty is learning about a person by the garbage they leave behind. She is a quiet, private person whose only friends are her colleagues at work but the friendships are surface, "work" friendships.
When the boss tells them to drop their current case and pack up all materials gathered, Dani has to take a quick trip home to get evidence she had left there. When she returns, she finds most of her colleagues dead and a team of killers searching the house for evidence and any stragglers. Dani does manage to hide and then escape to the roof where she finds another colleague - Choo Choo. Together the two of them manage to elude the kill team and go on the run.
Besides telling the story from Dani's viewpoint, we get the viewpoint of the hired assassin who orchestrated the invasion of Dani's workplace and who is still determined to find and kill Dani. He doesn't have any respect for the people who hired him but he is interested in Dani. The two of them begin a phone relationship though neither can trust the other.
The story was filled with gritty realism. We see Dani's terror and confusion as she is on the run from an unknown enemy. We watch her get so tired that the idea of giving up seems reasonable. We see her stubbornness as she tries to outwit her unknown enemy. She will need to be careful, clever and lucky to get out of this situation alive.
My main problem with this thriller was that I never did figure out who the bad guys really were and who they were working for. But, since this was Dani's story, I could overlook that as I watched the way Dani survived. Fans of thrillers will enjoy this action-packed story.
Her father used to tell her that everyone handled fear in their own way. "When it comes to danger," he'd say, "Everybody's chicken. But there are two kinds of chickens—chicken hawks and chicken shits. And it doesn't matter how high up you throw chicken shit, it ain't never going to fly."I got this ARC through the Amazon Vine program. You can buy your copy here.