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Long Time Lost by Chris Ewan
Cover Artist: Woman by Shioguchi / Getty Images;
Street by Nico De Pasquale Photography / Getty Images;
Suitcase by Thitirat J13 / Shutterstock.
Review by Joseph B. Hoyos
Minotaur Books Kindle Edition  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781250117397
Date: 07 February 2017

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

Nick Miller's wife, Sarah, and his teenage daughter, Melanie, were murdered by a wealthy mobster, Connor Lane, in order to prevent them from testifying against his brother, Russell. Britain's witness protection program failed them.

Nick decided to create his own program. His clients are given new appearances and new identifying documents and are hidden throughout Europe where no one can find them. Recently, Nick saves the life of Kate Sutherland who has vowed to testify against Russell. Shortly after Kate enters Nick's program, it begins to fall apart, one link at a time. Nick and his associates travel across the globe in order to rescue his clients from Connor Lane's hired thugs.

Chris Ewan, best-selling author of The Good Thief's Guide series, has written another superb stand-alone novel, Long Time Lost. It's an extremely intriguing novel that is packed with deception and betrayal. Our damaged hero, Nick Miller (real name is Nick Adams), doesn't know who to trust. There is a mole in the UK Protected Services Program who is leaking information to Connor Lane. Also, one of Nick's clients is a Judas Iscariot. Dark and horrifying secrets abound in Long Time Lost. Everyone is lying. Some do it for materialistic gain. Others do it in order to save their lives. When you are in a witness protection program, your entire life becomes a lie.

While reading Long Time Lost, I kept asking myself, "What defines us as a person after everything has been taken away?" Who are we after our name and appearance have been altered, after our job is gone, after we lose contact with friends and family, and we've been relocated to a foreign country where we don't speak the language? In the end, we are defined by what is in our heart; our heart never changes. I like to believe that it is my salvation (my personal relationship with a supreme being) that can never be taken from me; it is the one thing that remains constant in an ever changing world.

While reading Long Time Lost, I kept thinking of the 1996 blockbuster action film, Eraser. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as U.S. Marshal John "The Eraser" Kruger. He must hide and protect the beautiful Lee Cullen (Vanessa Williams); her testimony will destroy a complex conspiracy of corrupt businessmen and politicians who are involved in the selling of highly advanced weapons to terrorists. My only complaint is that Eraser lacks romance; John and Lee never shared a single kiss. In Long Time Lost, Kate is soon smitten by the ruggedly handsome Nick who is risking his life to protect her; eventually, they share more than just a kiss. Long Time Lost could almost be classified as romantic suspense.

Nick has a small team of highly dedicated, highly talented employees helping him with his program. There is the voluptuous former soap opera star, Becca Jarvis, who assists with giving clients a new appearance via cutting and dying hair and applying makeup. Hanson is a young flamboyant black man who is an electronics genius; his specialties are computer hacking and creating false IDs. These are the good people who are willing to literally go to the ends of the earth for Nick. Then there are the bad people such as Connor Lane and his two psychotic thugs, Mike Renner and Aaron Wade, who will sacrifice anyone, even a child, in order for Russell Lane to be set free. For example, Wade loves to hang his victims upside down and clobber them to death.

Mystery fans will love Chris Ewan's Long Time Lost for numerous reasons. It is a fast-paced novel that begins with a failed assassination attempt and never loses any steam as Nick travels around Europe, visiting numerous exotic locales in Germany, France, Italy, and Switzerland. There are many car chases and shootouts. Because of traitors, Lane's men are always breathing down our heroes' necks. To make matters worse, DS Jennifer Lloyd of the National Crime Agency is also pursuing Nick, believing that he killed his wife and daughter. The plot is often quite unnerving. Many chapters end with a cliffhanger. The novel itself ends on a happy note. I only wish that Long Time Lost wasn't a stand-alone novel. I'm going to feel lost without a sequel; however, I'm willing to wait a long time for one, but not too long.

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