Author: Jackie Keswick
Narrator: Fox Ballard
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 9 hours and 38 minutes
At a Glance: I highly recommend Job Hunt if you want an excellent double thriller with a budding romance entwined.
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: You don’t greet your new boss dressed like an underage rent boy. But when Jack Horwood – ace hacker and ex-MI6 operative – opens the door to Gareth Flynn, he’s too busy to worry over details like that. And anyway, his potential new boss is his former commanding officer – the same guy Jack has had a crush on since he was 17. So he should understand, right?
When he applied for the job in Nancarrow Mining’s corporate security division, Jack had hoped for peaceful days repelling cyber-attacks. Maybe a bit of corporate espionage on the side. His plans didn’t include rescuing abused children, hunting pimps, or dealing with his overly protective and hot-as-hell boss, Gareth Flynn.
Walking away is not an option. Jack never takes the easy way out. More than that, meeting Gareth raises old ghosts that Jack needs to put to rest. Rescuing kids. Taking risks. Saving the day. Jack can do all that – but deciding what to do about his attraction to Gareth isn’t the sort of cloak-and-dagger game Jack plays well. Yet Gareth, strong and smart and always on hand when needed, might be Jack’s salvation.
Review: Jack Horwood has some unique job searching skills, and he uses his expertise to land an interview at Nancarrow Mining with Donald Frazer. Jack is a system security specialist, first and foremost, but he has other talents too. He joined the army at the young age of seventeen, became an MI6 agent after leaving the army, and now has his own personal crusade. As a young child he faced the worst type of desertion by his mother, and faced sexual abuse.
Gareth Flynn was once a CO for the military. He’s now working for Nancarrow Mining. Jack is totally shocked when Gareth walks in on his interview. It’s been eight years since he served under Gareth, and it brings back a lot of memories and mixed emotions seeing Gareth again. Little does Jack know Gareth has been searching for him.
Besides Jack using his hacking expertise to try and find the person stealing data from Nancarrow Mining, he’s on an undercover mission for the Met to try and find the pimp who is selling young boys. Jack has to face the loss of a young teen, Ricky, but Gareth has his back and helps save two more young boys, Nico and Daniel. Nico and Daniel survive their rescue, but it doesn’t give Jack the peace that he needs.
In Job Hunt, Jackie Keswick brings us a well written, double suspense thriller, with child trafficking and corporate security leaks to be solved. It’s very heavy in the technology area, but it has some fast, action packed moments too. Most of the story is about Jack and Gareth’s growing familiarity, and second chances. We find many unanswered questions between Jack and Gareth, and little by little the answers get revealed. Jack is a multifaceted character, and we get to see him make his own family with the understanding of Nico’s and Daniel’s needs. He helps Nico and Daniel realize that they are not worthless and that they can stand up for themselves. I related this to Gareth too, as he strives to show Jack that he needs someone to take care of him and not do it all himself.
There’s an abundance of characters that aren’t skimmed over. They each add to the story with their own personal lives. As I found myself getting deeper into the mystery and Jack’s undercover assignments, I wasn’t sure who to trust. One of my favorite side characters is Aidan Conrad, legal counsel for Nancarrow Mining. He seems to always be there to dispense relationship tidbits to Jack and Gareth in one way or another.
Fox Ballard did a really nice job bringing different emotions to this reading. I liked his British and Scottish accents, and I liked the light, smooth tone to Jack’s voice, which really makes him sound younger than he is. The deep gravel tone to Gareth’s voice fits that ex-military persona. And again, there’s Aidan Conrad and just an interesting tone to his voice, almost mischievous.
This was a first read/audio listen for me from Jackie Keswick and Fox Ballard, and I was not disappointed at all. I highly recommend Job Hunt if you want an excellent double thriller with a budding romance entwined.
You can buy Job Hunt here: