Reviews for Kill Fee

Booklist Reviews 2013 December #1
In this third novel featuring African American FBI Agent Carla Windermere and Minnesota State Police Detective Kirk Stevens (Criminal Enterprise, 2013), Laukkanen again displays his talent for creating once-solid citizens who have devised innovative approaches to crime. This time it's Parkerson, a tech-savvy business executive and sociopath who realizes that if you can order a pizza online, why not murder? So he develops Kill Switch, a web forum for "gun enthusiasts," and begins taking orders. For hit men, he seeks out veterans traumatized by war experiences. He abducts them, tortures them with "visions" of violence, and makes them dependent on him to save them from the visions. Windermere and Stevens witness one of his hits, and a chase ensues that crisscrosses the country. But the deepening attraction between Windermere and Stevens--she's a decade younger, a head taller, beautiful, driven, and volatile; he's happily married, devoted to his family, and stolid--strains credulity. Plot turns repeatedly rely on federal agencies TSA, DoD, and FAA refusing FBI requests for assistance. These caveats aside, Kill Fee is fast-paced fun. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2014 March #2
Minnesota state cop Kirk Stevens teams up once more with the FBI's Carla Windermere to put a ruthless murder-for-hire scheme out of business. "Business" is indeed the word for Killswitch, the assassination bureau that defense-contracting executive Michael Parkerson runs on the side. Clients go to, type in their requests, wait for Parkerson to establish their bona fides, and pay half his hefty fee before their targets are terminated, half afterward. The dirty work falls to a series of dead-eyed "assets," military veterans Parkerson has brainwashed to travel the country executing their targets until the assets themselves inevitably wear out and must be retired and replaced. When the latest target, media mogul Spenser Pyatt, is felled by a sniper outside the Saint Paul Hotel only a few yards from where Stevens and Windermere are sharing coffee and conversation, the two friends and sometime colleagues (Criminal Enterprise, 2013, etc.) give chase, and the chase widens, accelerates and continues for 400 pages. The man who pulled the trigger, Malcolm Lind, is so resourceful and unflappable, such a perfectly engineered killing machine, that he's impossible to catch—until a chance encounter with softhearted airline clerk Caity Sherman begins to reawaken his humanity. For his part, Stevens, who's consistently drawn to Windermere, isn't eager to tell his long-suffering wife, Nancy, that he's working with the younger African-American agent again, but he's caught up, like everyone else Killswitch has touched, in the relentless action. Proficient, professional, pulse-pounding nonsense. If you can accept the outrageous logistics of Killswitch, you won't put this third installment down unfinished. Copyright Kirkus 2014 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Journal Reviews 2013 October #1

Minnesota state investigator Kirk Stevens and sometime colleague Carla Windermere, an FBI agent, witness a billionaire's murder on a bright, sunny day by a milquetoasty kind of guy with haunting eyes.

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Library Journal Reviews 2014 February #2

Laukkanen creates intense, tough, amoral characters who profit from kidnapping (The Professionals), robbing banks (Criminal Enterprise), and now, in his third novel, killing for hire. While Twin Cities FBI Special Agent Carla Windermere and Minnesota State Investigator Kirk Stevens visit over coffee in downtown St. Paul, they witness an assassin shoot a billionaire twice in the head. As Stevens and Windermere follow his trail to Miami, Las Vegas, and DC, an assistant, Derek Mathers, discovers, a murder-for-hire website. Together, they learn how Michael Parkerson, a rough defense contractor from Charlotte, NC, befriends former soldiers with psychological issues, traumatizes them into becoming ultimate drones--eventually mobilizing them with stolen identities to eliminate targeted individuals for $200K a pop. VERDICT While readers might identify with these good-man-gone-bad characters living frustrated and dissatisfied lives, they have to plod through the excessive procedural details that hamper the adrenaline-like pace of the rather bizarre plotline. [See Prepub Alert, 9/16/13.]--Jerry P. Miller, Cambridge, MA

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 November #4

A blistering pace and a stomach-turning homicide-for-hire scheme rockets Laukkanen's third thriller featuring the detective odd couple of Carla Windermere and Kirk Stevens (after 2012's Criminal Enterprise) from Minneapolis to grungy venues all over the United States. Since Windermere, a gorgeous African-American FBI agent, and Stevens, a middle-aged and married investigator with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, first worked together, they've stayed close--though not as close as both suspect they easily could be. While meeting for lunch, the pair witness the sniper killing of billionaire Spenser Pyatt and glimpse a boyish killer fleeing the scene. Windermere and Stevens begin tracking the organization responsible, Killswitch, an Internet contract killing business run by Department of Defense contractor Michael Parkerson, who's brainwashing damaged vets into drone-like "assets." Despite some unbelievable plot elements, including a villain's quasi-redemption through his do-gooding girlfriend, Laukkanen keeps readers engaged with a serpentine plot that writhes through high-tech and low-life corruption. Agent: Stacia Decker, Donald Maass Literary Agency. (Mar.)

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