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Publisher: North Loop Books (2017)

One of the NSA’s most talented agents, Zaveen “Zack” Keens, reads the agency’s unofficial notes about a soldier turned ruthless mercenary, murderer, and now her deadly adversary – Archidamus, the man she’d injured and almost stopped. Zack must learn everything she can and hone all her abilities in order to save her kidnapped fiancé and defeat the formidable murderer.

In another city, a man reflects on his first violent encounter with Agent Zack and recognizes that underestimating her is a grave mistake. As his finger follows the jagged cut on his face, he vows to kill her. Archidamus never forgets.

This suspenseful thriller introduces characters with paranormal skills that complement their survival and spy training. Knowing the agents’ capabilities, the reader begins with a confident feeling, like when you bet on a sure thing at the race track, but then you find out that your horse had an unreported injury and suddenly, what you thought was a sure bet, leaves you with growing concerns. Likewise, the reader learns that these skills come with side effects and that this killer is always several steps ahead of the NSA. And Archidamus has secrets of his own.

Zack can read minds even from a long distance, which took some getting used to for her new partner Lane Brigham, who reveals that he has some surprising mental abilities of his own. Just as these two agents get comfortable with their skills, Zach’s fiance’, Eric, is kidnapped by none other than Archidamus. They follow the trail through several states in the U.S. and across the Atlantic to Ireland and Austria. A ransom message arrives but is it already too late?

Let the reader beware, Shawgo’s writing builds a creeping suspense that will keep one engaged in the chase and through the murderer’s evasive steps. The knowledge of weaponry, some of it unique for a thriller, along with skillfully plotted strategy serve this thriller well.

Author Janet Shawgo has written four award-winning historical and romantic novels. Archidamus is her debut thriller. As with her other books, she’s created memorable characters in dynamic situations. Before putting pen to paper as an author, Shawgo served as a healthcare worker for thirty-two years, twenty of those as a travel nurse. Her past informs her writing in the way her characters emote concern and empathy throughout the story.

Archidamus is a paranormal, suspenseful thriller that also tells a story of the strength of loving bonds with friends and family. Love is the glue that holds a strong defense in place. Is it enough, though, when pitted against the face of evil in a twisted man who never forgives and never forgets?