Born in San Francisco, Greg Rucka was raised on the Monterey Peninsula. He is the author of Private Wars, A Gentleman's Game, and six previous thrillers, as well as numerous comic books, including the Eisner Award--winning Whiteout: Melt. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his family.
Vulnerable macho heroes are always in demand. Here, as in his two previous outings (Finder and Keeper), Rucka's Atticus Kodiak fits the bill in spite of his unlikely name. A personal security specialist ("bodyguard" to the unenlightened) with a bad rep from a botched job, Atticus parlays a new job offer from fellow bodyguard Elliott Trent into a flush gig protecting a "smoking gun" witness from an international assassin hired by Big Tobacco. Anti-tobacco lawyers fortify a Westchester mansion to keep the witness alive, and Kodiak and Trent share guard duties in a very uneasy (and suspenseful) peace. Trent's daughter, Natalie, a bodyguard herself and heir to Trent's sizable firm, adds fuel to the fire as Kodiak's secret lover and new business partner after a rift with Dad. This doesn't please Erika (Kodiak's teen ward), who is pulling for his estranged lover, Bridgett. The assassin's attempts, when they come, show evidence of an inside job and open a can of narrative worms so deftly deployed that readers will bite nearly every hook. Rucka juggles a large cast and complex plot with aplomb and packs enough real action and character depth to please a wide audience. Every nuanceÄfrom high-tech security gizmos to personality quirks, the New York setting, and the surprising range of women charactersÄcomplicates and deepens Atticus's victorious return. (Nov.)
It is not enough that the tobacco industry has been slowly killing people for a century or two‘now they've hired a mysterious contract killer to take out a witness to their nefarious deeds. In this third thriller by Rucka (Keeper, LJ 5/1/96; Finder, LJ 6/1/97), professional bodyguard Atticus Kodiak is hired to protect Jeremiah Pugh, a biomedical research scientist. Pugh is willing to testify that DTS Industries puts additives into their products to make them more addictive. If this allegation stands up, it will leave DTS open to lawsuits costing zillions of dollars. But Smoker, despite the title, is less concerned with the evil cigarette companies than with thwarting a clever killer‘there's a lot of Hollywood, Steven Seagal stuff: guns, bombs, explosions, fighting. Several ongoing characters left over from the first two books are insufficiently reintroduced, and the plot line is minimal, but otherwise this is not a bad book for thriller fans.‘Dawn L. Anderson, North Richland Hills P.L., TX
"A megathriller. Put Rucka on the short 'must read' list."--Philadelphia Inquirer
"Outstanding...The characters are splendid, the action non-stop, and the writing first-rate. What more could you want?"--Plain Dealer, Cleveland "Engaging...Suspense-filled...Smoker is one of those books that unfolds so vividly, it will give the reader the feeling that they saw the movie."--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "Compelling...[Kodiak] is one of the more empathetic characters in contemporary thrillerdom."--Dallas Morning News "Packs enough real action and character depth to please a wide audience...Victorious."--Publishers Weekly, starred review