If you like suspenseful chase stories, Maine writer Al Lamanda has 289 new and exciting pages to entertain you this summer. They add up to “Running Homeless,” a sequel to Lamanda’s fast-moving novel, “Walking Homeless,” which garnered enthusiastic readers and positive reviews last year.

The platform for both books is national intrigue. John Tibbetts, the central character in both, is a walking powder keg with a buried fuse. He possesses a full arsenal of smoothly violent skills, including remarkable talent with a gun. What he does not possess is any memory of how or why he acquired those skills and how he is supposed to use them.

His memory is blank, a place of swirling fog, not scenes that decode into sense. Tibbetts’ past communicates to him only a few images and insights that come to him in dreams — people and places he perceives clearly but cannot explain.

Tibbetts’ condition is not a natural state of mind. It is an intentional blank, a careful creation, but the intent is by no means his. He is, in truth, a consummate assassin, perhaps the best in the world — not a killer for drug runners and criminals, not a man on the wrong side of the law. He is an assassin created by a secret agency of the U.S. government to carry out missions that government cannot do openly in the world.

He is superbly designed to survive and to preserve plausible deniability for those high in American government. At least, that is the intent. Images float in his mind, but they are untethered wisps of events without memories to guide him.

And so he moves on.

This time, events take Tibbetts far from New York City, where the first book, “Walking Homeless,” was set, to New Mexico, where he has killed several drug kingpins and FBI agents for reasons he cannot remember.

Why the killings? He doesn’t know. Where should he go? He has no idea. Who is controlling his actions? Another blank. And, for the long term, he has no inkling at all who would harm him and who can help him discover who — and what — he is.

The journey toward self-knowledge will propel Tibbetts toward some surprising encounters. People he regards as friends will betray him. One man will help lead him to survival. And one or two high-ranking officials, beyond threat and beyond suspicion, will prove faithless, spinning him into confusion, danger and fear.

And all the while, the past, on a journey of its own, makes increasing contact with the present in Tibbetts’ mind and in the events that surround him.

Lamanda writes well. He controls his story with rhythm and relentless pace. You may well feel your pulse quickening as the book nears its conclusion, where the answers lie and where, bit by bit, pieces of Tibbetts’ past catch up with the present in his mind.

When the running is done, at least for now, we perceive Tibbetts still standing strong — ready, we can hope, for Book No. 3.

Nancy Grape is a freelance writer who writes book reviews for The Maine Sunday Telegram.