A crackerjack thriller and a second appearance for Phil Broker (The Price of Blood, 1997), tough ex-cop, hard-bitten Vietnam vet, and serious daddy. Major Nina Pryce is away on an overseas assignment, so Broker is left in sole charge of her—and his—14-month-old daughter. But that’s okay, because Broker likes living in babyland—until that day when the unforeseeable happens and the outside world comes crashing in. Broker gets a phone call from his former wife Caren. She’s in St. Paul, and though Broker lives way up there in the Minnesota woods just south of the Canadian border, she’s on fire to make the drive just to talk to him. The subject, it turns out, is Keith, her current husband, who was once Broker’s friend and police force boss—not to mention being the man who ended Broker’s marriage by luring Caren away. Now Keith’s got himself buried in trouble, Caren says, and she desperately needs Broker to help dig him out. Broker knows how he ought to respond, but the knight-errantry bred in his bones makes his answer sound like an offer of hospitality. Then, when Caren shows up, she’s not alone but has along with her one Tom James, a bitter, disappointed, on-the-way-down reporter who’s along to track a story—at first. Soon enough, however, he sees the opportunity to make a fantasy come alive. What does he want? Well, to be someone else altogether’specifically, Danny Storey, the endlessly resourceful, profoundly amoral protagonist of his own unfinished whodunit. How his chance presents itself, and the bizarre way James seizes it, are what provide the spine of a story replete with intrigue, chases, secret agendas, and bloody murder. Weapon to hand, baby on his hip, Broker acts as unwilling catalyst. Logan can plot. And write. And what he serves up here is a satisfying throwback to the kind of suspense novel where complex people matter more than high-tech machines.