The Shadow Tracer

Overview


Sarah Keller is a skip tracer, tracking criminals who have gone on the lam. She?s also a single mother to five-year-old Zoe, living quietly in small-town Oklahoma?until an accident sends Zoe to the ER, and their life changes in a heartbeat. Medical tests reveal a desperate secret Sarah has been hiding for years: Zoe is not her daughter, but rather a girl once rescued from a nightmare of murder, vengeance, and harrowing family ties she can?t possibly remember. Sarah does. And ...
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The Shadow Tracer

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Overview


Sarah Keller is a skip tracer, tracking criminals who have gone on the lam. She’s also a single mother to five-year-old Zoe, living quietly in small-town Oklahoma—until an accident sends Zoe to the ER, and their life changes in a heartbeat. Medical tests reveal a desperate secret Sarah has been hiding for years: Zoe is not her daughter, but rather a girl once rescued from a nightmare of murder, vengeance, and harrowing family ties she can’t possibly remember. Sarah does. And someone wants to make sure she never forgets.

Now Sarah must abandon her carefully constructed life and take Zoe on the run. Using her knowledge as a skip tracer to stay off the grid, she must remain one step ahead of her pursuers if she is to stay alive, save Zoe, and bury the past once and for all.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Edgar-winner Gardiner’s second stand-alone (after Ransom River) boasts another of the strong female characters she’s known for and enough pulse-pounding action to satisfy the most avid thriller fan. Sarah Keller swore to her dying sister, Bethany, that she would take and protect Bethany’s baby, Zoe, from the father, Nolan Worthe, and his father, Eldrick Worthe, “the patriarch and self-proclaimed prophet of the Fiery Branch of the New Covenant”—a fanatical religious cult that extends across four Western states. Five years later, Sarah has made a new life for herself and Zoe in Oklahoma City, Okla., where a doctor examining Zoe figures out that Sarah is not the girl’s mother, as she claims to be. For FBI agent Curtis Harker, Sarah is the key to his vengeance on the Worthes for killing his wife. For the Worthes, tracking down five-year-old Zoe is vital to their survival. Desperate Sarah calls on U.S Marshal Michael Lawless for aid. The ensuing bloody cross-country race is packed with surprises and harrowing escapes. Agent: Deborah Schneider, Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents. (June)
Library Journal
Sarah Keller is a skip tracer with a shadowy past, hiding the lie that she and her five-year-old daughter are living. Fiercely determined to keep Zoe safe from the far-reaching clutches of a messianic cult with ties to terrorism, drugs, and polygamy, Sarah is always prepared to run. When a traffic accident exposes her deception, there's no time for her to second-guess or doubt her choices; hell is coming in the form of the Shattering Angel and his Angel Wings—devout members of the cult who will do anything their leader asks of them to assure their rightful place in heaven. Sarah's possible connection to the cult is like blood in the water for government agents, and she and Zoe are pressed into serving as bait in a cat-and-mouse game she has no desire to play. Near cinematic quick-cut action drives a lean, plot-driven story populated by larger-than-life characters. Alternating points of view interspersed with flashbacks keep everything rocketing along until the incendiary finale. VERDICT In her second stand-alone thriller (after Ransom River), the Edgar Award-winning Gardiner has set up a high-velocity ride into the heart of the New Mexico desert that is sure to keep adrenaline junkies and armchair thrill-seekers on the edge of their seats. [See Prepub Alert, 1/14/13.]—Charli Osborne, Oxford P.L., MI
Kirkus Reviews
Gardiner's latest stand-alone revisits the story of Thelma and Louise, with Thelma played by a professional skip tracer and Louise by a refugee from kindergarten. As she escaped a burning building five years ago, Sarah Keller promised her dying sister, Bethany, that she'd protect Bethany's daughter Zoe from the monstrous Worthes, the polygamous family of self-anointed prophets--"white trash mafia who got a bad dose of God"--into which Bethany had unwisely married. With the unexpected help of Deputy Marshal Michael Lawless, Sarah succeeded in going off the grid in Oklahoma City and raising the little girl as her own. When a series of freak accidents outs Sarah and Zoe and makes national headlines, imprisoned patriarch Eldrick Worthe, whose desire to recover Zoe for their family is intensified by darker motives, sends Grissom Briggs, the Worthes' "Shattering Angel," after Sarah, together with two of Eldrick's granddaughters, Fell and Reavy, to serve as his "wives of the wind" and well-armed wingmen. Sarah, whose experience as a skip tracer has taught her a bit about vanishing without a trace, grabs Zoe, phones Lawless and heads to Roswell, N.M., where he's arranged a more secure hideout for her. But "more secure" is only a relative term when you're pursued by avenging angels with shotguns, and Sarah's flight leaves a blood-soaked trail behind her. Realizing eventually that she can't remain on the run indefinitely, Sarah hatches a scheme to turn the Worthes against each other. A series of expertly planned surprises awaits both the pursuers and their prey. If you can accept the preposterous setup, the ruthlessly two-dimensional villains and the world's most uncomplaining 5-year-old, Gardiner (Ransom River, 2012, etc.) will keep you up half the night with nonstop action and nary a pause for breath.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451468000
  • Publisher: Signet
  • Publication date: 6/3/2014
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 924,996

Meet the Author

Meg Gardiner

Meg Gardiner is the author of eleven critically acclaimed novels, including the Evan Delaney series: Mission Canyon, Jericho Point, Crosscut, and the Edgar® Award winning China Lake. She is also the author of The Shadow Tracer, The Nightmare Thief, The Liar’s Lullaby (a Stephen King Entertainment Weekly “Pick Hit”), The Memory Collector, and The Nightmare Thief. Originally from Santa Barbara, California, she divides her time between London and Austin.
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