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Publishers Weekly -Burdened with contrived plotting that depends on miraculous timing and fortuitous circumstances, Shelby's sensationalistic second thriller (after Days of Drums) asks for too much reader indulgence. And that's too bad, because its premise is intriguing: that the supposedly accidental death of a retired African American army general with an eye on the White House was no accident.
When Warrant Officer Rachel Collins of Army CID hears the dying whispers of a sergeant who once served as driver for the highly decorated General Griffin North, she realizes that the general was the victim of an assassination plot. After Collins's mentor, Major Mollie Smith, is murdered following her attempt to relocate two witnesses who hold key information, Collins herself becomes the next target of an ace CIA hit man known as the Engineer. Help arrives in the person of Smith's brother, an FBI agent, but the plot thickens when Collins discovers that North was Smith's secret lover.
In addition to the requisite high-level political shenanigans and an alphabet soup of covert agencies, Shelby stirs in white supremacists, a venal federal judge, cross-country air chases, glitzy resort settings and steamy romance. It's much too much, and while the final chapters crackle with action, the plot tricks Shelby uses to reach them, as well as his familiar characters, will have long worn readers' patience thin.