Saturday, February 23, 2008

Judas Horse-April Smith

Judas Horse
April Smith
Knopf, Feb 2008, $23.95
ISBN: 9781400042050

Seven months ago, FBI Special Agent Ana Grey was forced to shoot "a crazed detective on a suicide mission". Her badge and weapon was confiscated as is normal procedure while the Office of Professional Responsibility works with the agent on administrative leave to cope with the psychological trauma of a life changing incident; they determine when an agent returns to duty. When the agent does another agent escorts them back to the office. For April that was her friend Steve Crawford.

Soon afterward he vanished leaving the insomniac April with another reason not to sleep. Now Steve’s remains was found scattered by a hiker on Oregon's Cascade Mountains; apparently a victim of a homemade bomb. Ana goes undercover to infiltrate the anarchist most likely to have perpetrated the execution, Free the Animals (FAN) so as to obtain evidence of who killed Steve and how big of terrorist threat this group is. She quickly realizes that former FBI agent Dan “Allfather” Stone has something horrific in mind that he dubs "the Big One".

The third April Smith FBI thriller (see GOOD MORNING, KILLER and NORTH OF MONTANA) is a fabulous tale in which the heroine has a difficult task to obtain information re The Big One while staying alive. The difficulty in what she does is simply that the FAN members distrust everyone even themselves; as Stone especially knows the Feds will be back with a new infiltrator now that they have learned what happened to Crawford. In this milieu of obsessive behavior Ana remains calm as she deals with brilliant lunatics over the edge.

Harriet Klausner

1 comment:

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