Morrow, Feb 2010, $24.99
The Rubaco Pentad gang declares war on the FBI with a plan to disgrace the agency. They start by killing reporter Connie Lysander who did a disparaging story about the FBI. The group next demands the Feds give them one million dollars or another critic will die. FBI agent Dan West heads to Portsmouth, New Hampshire to deliver the pay-off, but is executed for carrying no cash. Number three is defense lawyer Arthur Belington, known for his kicked Fed butt in court. While a Utah State Senator who condemned the FBI as pathetic is assassinated, FBI agent Bertock is carrying two million dollars vanishes.
FBI Deputy Assistant Director Don Kaulcrick shows a tape of a Chicago bank robbery thwarted by a customer. Another Deputy Assistant Director Kate Bannon recognizes the hero as Steve Vail, a fired FBI agent known for his ability to find missing people. The Feds contact him to locate Bertok and he agrees on the grounds he is not reinstated and Kate assists him. The Rubaco Pentad find out that Vail is searching for the missing Fed so they order the FBI to have him deliver $3 million. As Vail works the case and ignores his mutual attraction with Bannon, he realizes once again the Feds are playing him.
This is an action-packed investigative tale starring a man’s man antihero who does what he believes is right especially using his contacts, fists and guns, but infrequently his brains. The story line is fast-paced from start to finish though one wonders when the Bricklayer gets any sleep. Although the finish is abrupt and the Machiavellian villain obvious from someone at the top of the Sears Tower looking down at the street; readers will enjoy this testosterone thriller.