A duo like-no-other comes together to solve the kidnapping of two eight-year-old twin sisters in this Crime Thriller, The Unknown Man by Natalie Hanson. A workplace-relationship-gone-wrong resulted in the FBI agent Zalla Bennbett getting assigned to this kidnapping case. Since the father of the kidnapped girls was the FBI’s CI, the FBI’s involvement was not unusual. However, sending Zalla to another location, Almeda, was strange. With her husband struggling with Cancer, the timing could not have been worse for her. Sensing no escape route in sight, She left for Almeda. As soon as she met with the local law enforcement of Almeda, she realized relocating was the least of her worries. She had to work with Dallon Brown, a young man desperate to prove his worth. With no relevant experience under his belt, Dallon appeared useless to Zalla. His eagerness to show off his skills downright frustrated her. In addition to everything else, a severe lack of clues left Zalla feeling like a headless chicken running whichever way in the hopes of finding something. Anything at all!
It was freakish in the worst way. Inhuman, degrading and even though Zalla was an atheist, one word came to her mind. Unholy.– An Unknown Man by Natalie Hanson
Natalie Hanson, the author, knows the trick to reach her audience’s heart and make a lasting impression. Much like the real world, each character is struggling with their insecurities and fighting their demons. Zalla, our strong protagonist with an innate ability to sniff out lies, can’t rid herself of the claws of the embarrassment that stab her constantly. The fear of people mocking her on account of her asymmetric body parts leaves her exasperated. Thanks to Natalie Hanson’s skilled storytelling, Zalla’s emotions were palpable beyond words. As Zalla hides her flaws and puts on a rude front, the readers can empathize with her. But, on the other hand, we have Dallon Brown, who is extremely polite. Although he makes mistakes, the audience forgives him on account of his tireless spirit to learn. Pairing these two together is a stroke of genius.
Her reputation had become one of a lone, rouge wolf. An agent who thought her shit didn’t stink and rules didn’t apply to her. She had never made a concerted effort to dispel that feeling among her fellow agents. It was true.– The Unknown Man by Natalie Hanson
The plot is thick with twists. Tension drips through the pages, and with every clue leading to fruitless results, the readers wish for the young girls’ safety. Besides suspense, The Unknown Man includes workplace politics, marital troubles, body insecurities, and abusive childhood-related aspects. Infusing the story with these diverse topics and weaving them together in a seamless manner reflects the exquisite storytelling talent of the author. Zalla defies every stereotype of a female protagonist yet manages to land her place in the hearts of her readers. It establishes that a heroine doesn’t have to be a hard-to-resist, sexy, and attractive lady. Just like the male protagonists, she, too, can have scars, asymmetry, and seemingly-unladylike mannerisms. Her actions should define her, not her beauty. Without using any preachy language, Natalie Hanson has initiated this movement, and the reading community will thank her for that. The Unknown Man by Natalie Hanson is a must-read for crime/psychological thriller readers.
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