From the opening pages in San Francisco’s Tenderloin, readers are thrown into Bell’s chaotic mind, jumbled thoughts, and troubled spirit--a protagonist with a tortured soul. This is followed by the introduction of Konstantin Berberov, CFO of a company on the verge of financial collapse, and a man just as troubled. The story alternates between Bell’s and Berberov’s perspectives, heightening the overall suspense. As Bell chases down leads, he crosses paths with Berberov’s boss, billionaire CEO Alexander Maximov, a former member of an elite Russian military unit. In crisp, purposeful prose, Basich moves the story forward as he seamlessly intertwines the troubled histories of these three characters in a way that will keep readers guessing, all while visions from Bell’s past, triggered by scents and locations, escalate the suspense.
The action is clear and convincing: “Marko executed a hard downward chop with his left arm to the bodyguard’s right wrist to separate gun from hand, then threw a hard uppercut that connected with his face.” Amid the mystery about Murphy’s disappearance are references to horrors committed in the conflict between Chechnya and Afghanistan during the Russian-Afghanistan War. Although Basich doesn’t dwell on the details, some readers may pause at the gruesome nature of Maximov’s war crimes. Fans of political thrillers and mysteries will enjoy this fast-paced, page-turning plot.
Takeaway: This globe-trotting mystery combines suspense, espionage, and action enough to please fans of political thrillers and police procedurals.
Great for fans of: David Baldacci, James Patterson.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: B