Top critical review
Glad I started with the Orphan X books
Reviewed in the United States on November 5, 2019
Had I not started reading Hurwitz until the Orphan X books, I would likely have stopped after (or during) the Tim Rackley books, of which Kill Clause is the first.
Tim (a US Marshal) and Andrea Rackley's (a local sheriff's deputy) only daughter is kidnapped, raped, and then dismembered. The book opens with the Rackley's best friend telling them of their daughter's death. The perpetrator is tracked, and Rackley heads over to the house. There are no detectives, crime scene tape, or anything else: other law enforcement personnel are waiting for him to dispense some vigilante/grieving father justice. Except he doesn't, and the perp is hauled off.
Later, Rackley and other members of the Marshal's arrest team take down a drug dealer and some of his cronies. Rackley winds up shooting one suspect who fled, on the street, in the back, as he was reaching for his gun to fire at some LAPD officers. Internal affairs is not pleased, the prosecutor is not pleased, etc. - no one is pleased, although Rackley's superior doesn't think anything was wrong with the shoot. Rackley ends up resigning, and is recruited by the Commission.
If you've seen/read The Star Chamber, Death Wish, or Magnum Force (although the latter had on the job cops doing the deed), you know what happens: the Commission deals out justice to those the legal system has let slip by via loopholes.
That we are expected to believe that Rackley, who loves his job, and who did not kill the man responsible for the death of his daughter when not a single soul would have turned him in it for it, would join up with a group of people deciding the guilt or innocence of people and deeming them worthy of execution is simply ridiculous. Rackley even has his doubts about the two ex-cops from Detroit in the very first meeting.
There is a lot of soul searching by Rackley, the requisite nod to a marriage falling apart because of the death of a child (but not a big nod; Tim and Andrea only have one big blowout scene, with the rest of their time together in the house seeming like they are more angry with one another than grieving). There's the tough but fair supervisor, the loyal friend, the fellow deputy who wants Andrea, and so on.
The action scenes are decent, and the writing is ok - not as good as in the Orphan X books, but I chalk that up to practice, practice, practice. Writers should get better the more they write.
Overall, if you're looking for something to read and don't mind really descriptive passages about gore, this is worth a couple of hours of reading time. Just suspend your disbelief at some of the occurrences here and you'll be ok.