Strong and vibrant characters and top-notch suspense make this another home run for Hoag. The alternating stories of Jace and Kev really move the plot along and will keep readers hovering on the edges of their seats.

Teenage bike messenger Jace Damon's last pickup nearly kills him. After Jace picks up a package from sleazy attorney Lenny Lowell, he's almost run down by a car on his way to drop it off. As he races for his life through back alleys, Jace realizes someone seriously wants him dead.

L.A. police detective Kev Parker is currently on bad footing with the top brass, but that doesn't stop him from doing his best to solve the murder of Lenny Lowell. Jace is either Lenny's killer or the last person to see him alive; either way Kev wants to chat.

Terrified, Jace doesn't know where to turn. He doesn't trust the police and he doesn't want social services to find out his mother is dead and he's raising his 10-year-old brother. The package is the key to everything, but how can Jace get rid of it and get everyone off his back?

(Jul., 420 pp., $26.00)
Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith