Nick Heller – Nick likes nothing more than being underestimated by an opponent. He’s self-deprecating, irreverent, a man who can’t stand pretense. Or bullies. He really doesn’t like being lied to — and no one’s more loyal. After serving in the Special Forces in undisclosed locations, doing things he’s not allowed to talk about, he became a “private spy.” Now he’s got his own boutique international investigation firm in his hometown of Boston. And as some very bad people are about to learn, he never, ever gives up. Check out Heller’s profile.
Marshall Marcus – A billionaire hedge-fund titan who’s in a world of trouble. Marshall hired Nick’s mother when she was desperate, years ago, so when he asks Nick’s help, Nick can’t say no. His daughter has just been kidnapped, but he’s afraid to cooperate with the FBI — because they’re on the verge of arresting him. They think he might be another Bernie Madoff. Is he? Why is he so frightened of some of his clients? What is the secret Marshall’s hiding — a secret so dangerous that it might cost the life of his own daughter?
Alexa Marcus – Marshall Marcus’ 17-year-old daughter has already survived one abduction attempt, as a child. Nick helped her through that one. Now, after drinks with a good-looking older man, she’s gone missing again. This time she’s facing her greatest nightmare . . . and no one knows where she is.
Belinda Jackson Marcus – Trophy wife or gold-digger? Depends who you ask. Marshall Marcus’ fourth wife is a former flight attendant who’s still gorgeous at 40. She says all the right things – in a Southern accent that drips with honey – but what does she really want?
Taylor Armstrong – The senator’s daughter, and Alexa Marcus’s “BFF” (Best Friend Forever). Also the last person to see Alexa before she disappeared. Taylor is trouble, just back from a “therapeutic boarding school” that’s really a rich kids’ rehab facility. Why isn’t she telling anyone the whole story?
Diana Madigan – Is she the one who got away? An FBI Special Agent with the Child Abduction Rapid Deployment unit, she’s brainy, sexy, and strong. Years ago, in Washington, she and Nick dated — and he never forgot her. Now they’re both in Boston, and Nick needs her help in the hunt for Alexa Marcus. Because some powerful people in the FBI seem to be standing in his way.
Dorothy Duval – Digital forensic specialist at Heller Associates, she’s ex-NSA, and can find almost anything online. Always speaks her mind and never holds back. She also tends to forget she’s one of Nick’s employees, but Nick will always put up with her. Not just because she’s the best, but because she’s relentless — and completely loyal.
Gabe Heller – He’s 16, a difficult kid, but who can blame him: his dad is Nick’s detested brother Roger. Gabe is a super-talented artist of comic books, but he insists they be called “graphic novels.” A loner, a computer geek, an avid Call of Duty player, and a hard case. But Nick loves him.
Francine (Frankie) Heller – Nick’s mom is still the woman he admires most. After divorcing Nick’s father, the “Dark Prince of Wall Street,” Frankie moved to the Boston suburbs and took a job as Marshall Marcus’ personal assistant. She’s been a surrogate grandmother to Marcus’ daughter, Alexa, and a real grandmother to Gabe, who’s staying with her for the summer. Nick’s less fond of her dog Lilly, a cranky shar-pei/mastiff mix that may be the world’s ugliest dog.
Jillian Alperin – Receptionist and office manager at Heller Associates in Boston. A vegan and an environmentalist. It’s anyone’s guess whether her piercings outnumber her tattoos, or vice versa. Or when Nick will finally lose his patience with her . . .
David Schechter – Every major city has at least one power broker who knows everyone and can pull all the strings. In Boston, that’s David Schechter, an attorney who’s at the top of the speed dial when prominent Bostonians find themselves in trouble. One of his clients is Marshall Marcus. But why does it seem that the billionaire’s lawyer is really the one calling the shots?
Dragomir Zhukov – The owl tattoo marks him as a survivor of one of Russian’s harshest prisons. He’s a killer for hire — and for pleasure. Who’s hired him, and why? What has he done with Alexa . . . and how far will he go?