By Nicholas Fonseca
Updated January 05, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST

In Marcus Sakey’s The Blade Itself, reformed crook Danny Carter is bound by honor — or maybe fear? — when a dangerous old buddy emerges from prison and lures him back. Things get messy when Danny is forced to help kidnap his own boss’ 12-year-old son.

Deep Thought Men need two things: the love of a father and the arms of a woman. Otherwise, they’re screwed.

Lowdown Blade is predictably genre to its core, but it’s elevated by snappy writing and a hair-raising climax.