Action. Suspense. Heat in the midst of a frigid New York winter. And fun; lots of fun.
Jessica Horowitz, a tough, attractive, former cop and martial arts expert, has a strong moral code and a tendency towards self righteousness; and she doesn't bend easily. An English literature major and physical fitness buff, Jessica is as tough and sexy as they come. Her work is her life except the part of her that wants to find Mr. Right, get married, settle down, and have kids before that ticking biological clock gets the better of her.
Matt Redman, a tough, smart African-American vet is also a recognized expert in computer security and a wisecracking, cynical, frustrated romantic idealist. If Jessica thinks his taste in women runs to the flighty and brainless, it probably does. Their sardonic repartee thinly masks the considerable sexual tension between them.
They are aided in their exploits by Boris Smolyanskaya, a Soviet emigre and former refusenik, currently residing in Brighton Beach. He looks like a Russian Bear, but his large bulk, thick Ukrainian features, and bushy mustache only hide his true nature: a teddy bear.
When the story opens, Harcourt T. Stoner, a wealthy New York City financial tycoon hires Horowitz and Redman to find the murderer of his 20-year-old daughter, Helene, whom he hadn't seen in two years. Helene, found dead in the Port Authority Bus Terminal, an apparent mugging victim, had apparently had a baby while she was away and Stoner wants them to find his grandchild as well.
Their search for Helene's killer leads them to Carlos, a self-professed former terrorist and munitions expert; to Estella Malkin, a vicious killer with a sordid hobby; to a shelter for reformed hookers and young runaway girls, where Jessica finds herself posing as a homeless streetwalker; and, finally, to a new-age cult in a remote New Hampshire resort where young girls are "enlisted" into a variety of unorthodox activities and an elite private security force is recruited from the nation's maximum-security prisons. The cult and the resort are under the direction of one Samuel Thomas Fowler and the security force, called "Angels," are under the supervision of Fowler's right-hand man, Diego Sanchez, a Marielito who first took up pro boxing and then a life of crime, and who then was miraculously (and suspiciously) reformed by Fowler upon his release from San Quentin.
Meanwhile, Matt Redman has been occupied with a problem of a different and more technical sort. An old buddy now manages one of the IRS's main computer facilities and has contracted Redman, in his capacity as a computer security expert, to rid the system of a destructive computer virus that was running wild throughout the IRS's computer network. Early in the story, he manages to narrow down the possible source of the virus to "somewhere in the eastern region" but it is not until Redman, Horowitz, and Boris Smolyanskaya infiltrate the premises of Fowler's Temple of Human Ascendancy that the mystery of the damaged IRS files can finally be cleared up.
Behind the locked doors on the Temple grounds, they find the twin horrors of hypocrisy and greed, along with a small group of former runaways who discover what it takes to be a genuine "Angel."
|Publisher:||Linda Weiser Friedman|
|File size:||308 KB|
About the Author
Linda Weiser Friedman is on the faculty of Baruch College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her research and teaching interests are varied and include business statistics, object-oriented programming, humor studies, Jewish studies, online education, social media, and all things technology. In addition to the other sites listed, link with me on Goodreads here: http://www.goodreads.com/lwfriedman