The Widow File(Website, Twitter)
Published by Thomas & Mercer on November 5, 2013
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Amazon • Book Depository • Goodreads
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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.
When Dani’s latest case as an elite security firm data analyst is suddenly shut down by her boss and all investigative material will be immediately destroyed, she has to run home to retrieve a few pieces of research that she shouldn’t have taken out of the work place in the first place. But when she arrives back at the historic house that served as their headquarters, she finds most of her coworkers dead and that she’s trapped inside with the highly trained team of murderers. Dani barely escapes by going out a window and onto the roof, where she finds that one other person has also sought refuge: a handsome and computer savvy coworker that she hadn’t worked with very much . They watch their boss get dragged out and loaded up in a vehicle, kidnapped but still breathing.
The leader of the elite hit squad knows that Dani is alive, and Tom is sent to hunt her down and finish the job: retrieval of the Widow File with no witnesses left alive. Armed with the bits of evidence from the investigation that she has left, which amount to a few receipts and other every day items, and several stashes of cash that her truck driver daddy taught her to hide, Dani and coworker Choo-Choo go on the run together, trying to figure out who was leaking information in the corporate espionage case that is fast looking like it has ties to the military or even higher up in the government. Can they figure out who’s behind everything before Tom closes in on Dani or will the deadly assassin close in on them before Dani can piece together the scraps of evidence that she still possesses?
Dani is such a real woman: smart, nerdy, overly well prepared for a rainy day. She’s not overly pretty or tall, but it’s her brains that make her at work–and her job takes up most of her life. Dani has taken the lessons her father and mother taught her to heart, and the ones from her father turn out to be very useful when put in this dangerous situation. Choo-Choo is a trust fund baby, only working because he wants to break away from his family. He’s a bit of a playboy and quite aloof, but he’s also very charming. His connections definitely help them along the way.
The hit man Tom is a real piece of work: hardened by his job, a bit off his rocker, but right on the money when it comes to his employer’s moves and motivations. He’s fascinated by Dani–her smarts, her unconventional ways of thinking, of living–and he really doesn’t want to kill her. So instead he starts a deadly game of cat and mouse with her while he’s snooping through her apartment, and it’s very interesting to see how his view on her progresses throughout the book.
I give The Widow File a four out of five. With a breakneck pace throughout most of the book, you feel like you can’t catch your breath as you go on the run with Danny and Choo-Choo. The pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place towards the end of the book, and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen when Dani would finally meet up with her assassin Tom. The setting was vivid, the dialogue was real, and the characters were distinct, all leading to a quick, fun book to devour.