British superspy Trevellyan, who, in his debut (Even, 2009) outsmarted the NYPD, the FBI, his own Royal Navy intelligence service and bottom-feeders on both sides of the pond, is back again toiling and foiling.
Ordered to report to the British consulate in Chicago, Lieutenant Commander David Trevellyan leaves New York—scene of his most recent sorties against the iniquitous—hoping to be posted back to London. Not on. What does happen is the sort of doleful assignment that all honest and true intelligence agents must hate like poison. Actually, it concerns poison. Also, an unmitigated traitor, a fellow intelligence officer who, it turns out, is smart, resourceful and as adept at homicide as Trevellyan himself. With a career somewhat on the wane, Trevellyan had been hoping for a more conventional assignment, one that might help him regain favor from jaundiced admirals grown weary of mavericks. Instead, he’s lumbered with a “hard arrest”—“the kind that involves body bags rather than handcuffs.” Still, as he listens to Richard Fothergill, the liaison officer, make the case against Tony McIntyre, the reprobate in question, he begins warming to the task. Things like the stolen canisters of gas are persuasive. Lethal enough to poison by the thousands, they were lifted by Macintyre for the sole purpose of making him rich, in aid of which the killer gas is now being offered on the open market—genocidal perps with deep pockets please apply. But to secure a hard arrest, one needs proximity to a more or less cooperative body, and cunning MacIntyre is proving endlessly elusive. So, the cat-and-mouse game’s afoot with the cat and mouse changing places at murderous intervals. The part about the body bags? No worries there.
Skimpy plot, shallow characters, sophomore jinx. Wait for the next.