This well-constructed thriller provides plenty of action as well as a glimpse into the cutthroat world of intellectual property and mineral rights profiteering, where patents are a highly lucrative commodity and companies make millions from exploiting deposits of rare substances. WashEx made its money in oil; as Grieg tries to turn it in a new direction, the board pushes for an IPO. Blackmail and murder are also at the forefront, thanks to a bounty of colorful characters whose needs, jealousies, and ambitions drive the solid story.
The protagonists are unusual and compelling. After slipping off the grid, Calypso is forced to abandon her privileged lifestyle and live off the land, raising chickens, making her own bread, and even drying seeds in order to survive. Grieg, a “charming, monied, swaggering, offensive, risk-taking, impulsive, murdering bully” but also a “future-facing genius,” is determined to sober up and prove to everyone that he’s more than capable of stepping into his father’s shoes. Their mutual need to reinvent themselves in order to survive will resonate with readers as the double-crosses and questions pile up. This is a satisfying look at the devastation wrought by selfishness.
Takeaway: This well-constructed thriller driven by old-fashioned vices and modern concerns about resource use is sure to appeal to fans of the genre.
Great for fans of James Patterson’s The 6th Target, David Baldacci’s A Minute to Midnight.
Design and typography: B
Marketing copy: C