How far wrong can a missing persons case go? You can find out, and truly enjoy the thrills and mystery in the process, in Harry Hunsicker’s latest novel, THE SHADOW BOYS.
This character-driven mystery follows former DEA contractor Jon Cantrell. As the story opens things are going well for Cantrell. He has a new job working for a law firm. But then his ex-girlfriend asks him to meet with a high-ranking police official. Cantrell is forced to take an off-the-books assignment to find a missing boy. And then, everything starts to unravel.
Cantrell is not a hero in the strict sense, but he is a fascinating character with, as Hunsicker says, a sharp wit, an eye for the quickest escape route, and a fascinating history.
“Jon Cantrell is a third-generation law enforcement officer, now in the private sector because of an altercation with a federal agent while he was a Dallas police officer,” Hunsicker says. “Cantrell thinks of himself as a cop even though he’s not wearing a badge in SHADOW BOYS.”
Cantrell’s client, Deputy Chief Raul Delgado, is an up-and-coming politico who bears his own tragic burdens. Forty years earlier, a racist cop killed Delgado’s brother. Now, Delgado works for the same department. Cantrell relates to Delgado, even though he’s not really a cop or even a private eye.
“Cantrell works as a fixit man/investigator for a DC-based attorney who handles federal contracts,” Hunsicker says. “In the first Cantrell book, he worked as a federal law enforcement contractor, a freelance DEA agent. For SHADOW BOYS, I thought it might be better if he was still involved in the contracting world but not an active participant.”
The story puts Cantrell in pursuit of a vigilante killer, an idea that came to Hunsicker while watching an old Dirty Harry movie. That alone should tell you that this is no typical murder mystery.
“I would call it a thriller,” Hunsicker asserts, “and I don’t think there are many other books out there that explore the world of private military contractors and the people associated with that field.”
Harry Hunsicker’s debut novel, Still River, was nominated for a Shamus Award and his fifth, THE SHADOW BOYS, is a thriller that will delight any Lee Child fan.
Harry Hunsicker is the former executive vice president of the Mystery Writers of America. His debut novel, Still River, was nominated for a Shamus Award by the Private Eye Writers of America, and his short story Iced was nominated for a Thriller Award by the International Thriller Writers. Hunsicker lives in Dallas, where he works as a commercial real estate appraiser and occasionally speaks on creative writing. Shadow Boys is his fifth novel.
To learn more about Harry, please visit his website.