When starving but hopeful 26-year-old artist Danny Cray upgrades his part-time work as a private investigator to full-time, his blind acceptance of misinformation coupled with a readiness to plunge headfirst into situations unknown transform a charming na vet and spirit of spontaneity into fatal shortcomings that threaten to curtail a burgeoning career and endanger his life. In Case’s new thriller (after The Syndrome), Cray embarks on escapades that are zesty and riveting, moving from the streets of Washington, D.C., to the Vatican Library to an entire city buried deep under eastern Turkey where a treasured religious object lies hidden. Ostensibly hired to protect the image of a famous businessman by discovering who is behind the smear campaign targeting his client, Cray quickly discovers that he has become involved in an imbroglio far more sinister than anything he expected; instead of the quick and simple high-profit, low-risk deal he envisioned, Danny is confronted with suspicious and terrifying deaths, dangerous technology and evil incarnate. Fast-paced and crammed with descriptions of experimental devices and potentially devastating scientific advances, the novel is unfortunately also saddled with repetitive language, some unrealistic stretches and improbable responses upon which the story line depends for further action. Still, the pieces fit nicely together and Case’s fourth thriller is a satisfying and gripping read.
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