In Wander’s (The Silent Lion, 2009) latest novel, a terrorist group plans an attack using leaked secrets from a high-tech company, and only a retired Israeli army officer can stop them.
When tech wizard Philip Courtney is found dead in his apartment, all signs point to suicide. However, he’d just started an exciting new job in a new city, and a co-worker is certain that something doesn’t add up. He brings his suspicions to a friend, Manuel Korman, whose father, David, is a former Israeli army officer with extensive intelligence and security experience. David agrees to investigate the matter, and when he interviews the senior staff at Black Technologies, where Philip served for years as a vice president, he knows they’re hiding something. He calls on his friends in Israeli intelligence for help, and together they untangle the complex, sordid relationship between the stunning Black Technologies executive VP of finance Nicole Lawrence; the company’s founder and president, Edgar Black; and Edgar’s son and heir apparent, Leon. Later, they work to find out how classified information is being funneled out of the company and to what terrorist group, and try to stop an elaborate scheme to defraud the U.S. government of billions. If all this sounds complicated, it is. Once Wander clarifies the various distinct plotlines, he manages to deftly establish suspense; however, readers may have trouble getting to that point, as the first quarter of the book consists primarily of exposition about several different characters. The author’s experience as a chief financial officer allows him to delve into the story’s intricate financial dealings; however, the book’s use of jargon can be heavy-handed at times—a tendency that may appeal to finance experts but may overwhelm general readers. The numerous sex scenes, as well, can be off-putting or mildly silly, as in a scene in which Nicole feels Leon’s “rising tower of manliness begin to harden under her.” However, readers who can overlook these flaws—and keep all the characters straight—will be rewarded with a bustling suspense yarn.
A circuitous but diverting thriller.