Where Dead Men Meet

Reading Mark Mills's Where Dead Men Meet is like watching an Alfred Hitchcock movie, one with an expertly drawn everyman caught up in engrossing intrigue and on the run from dangerous spies and nefarious characters. Accompanied, of course, by a beautiful and possibly deadly dame. The opening is brutal: in 1937 England, a nun is beaten to death.

Cut to Paris, France, where Luke Hamilton works as a junior air intelligence officer at the British Embassy. He receives word of the murder of Sister Agnes, who raised him after he was orphaned as a baby 25 years earlier, until he was adopted. Even more distressing, he receives a note while dining out, stating that an assassin has Luke in his sights; minutes later, the veracity of the note is confirmed. Luckily, someone else in the restaurant is aware of the killer and saves Luke's life. This begins Luke's trek across Europe, taking him to Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Croatia. Along the way he meets Pippi, whom Luke's rescuer assures will be helpful, but Pippi has her own agenda involving salvation and revenge, and becoming entangled in her plans might put Luke in even more danger.

Where Dead Men Meet is an adventurous, cinematic read, which isn't surprising since Mills is a former screenwriter. It's smart entertainment, a suspenseful escapade across Europe with a dash of romance and involving characters who insist you come along for the unforgettable ride. --Elyse Dinh-McCrillis

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