Independently Published (2020)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (08/20)
In “The Scheduler” by Joann Fastoff, Howard Watson and his team of FBI agents are back in action, only this time the case involves someone that they know. CIA agent Allen Knox and FBI Special Agent Janet Forrestal’s wedding is tragically interrupted when he is shot in the chest. While he is recovering in the hospital, Howard’s team starts investigating who did this. The shot came from a military issue M-24 sniper rifle. As they discover other individuals being shot by the same rifle, they find a correlation between all five of them having been on the same tennis team in college. The suspense continues as they not only try to find out who the shooter is, but why this person is doing this. As the agents delve deeper into the story, an unexpected picture emerges, and in addition to solving this case, they will also be able to solve a missing person’s case from many years ago.
I have been following the Howard Watson Intrigue series since it began fifteen years ago. In this addition, Joann Fastoff continues to thrill her readers by providing a fast moving, suspenseful intrigue in which one of the victims of the crime is a character that we already know and love.
Adding to the suspense, Fastoff creates some realistic conflicts between the characters on the team that are involved. As always, the theme is based upon a real-world issue, which in this case involves the psychological impact on an adult who was sexually abused as a child. Fastoff clearly researched this issue and utilized FBI expertise to make it realistic and completely believable. I love that she investigates everything, including how the FBI would really be involved if her cases were non-fiction. While it is painful to know that the issues that Fastoff writes about are based on current real-world events, it helps me to gain understanding from the perspective of the victims who are really affected by the dramas about which she writes. While I read to escape my own reality, I appreciate the opportunity to learn about a current issue.
I highly recommend reading “The Scheduler,” and the other books in the series. Followers of Joann Fastoff will be thrilled to continue on with this story, and new fans will be delighted to discover this gem of an author.