A military investigator wisecracks his way through a series of oddly connected cases.
Maj. Vin Cooper, the engaging and funny aviophobic Air Force investigator from Rollins’s The Death Trust (2007), has been given a more relaxed assignment as a Department of Defense investigator until he fully recovers from his last mission. As part of his lighter work load, he’s ordered to travel to Japan to perform an investigation into what looks like a scientist’s accidental fall overboard into the mouth of a waiting shark. Afterwards, he heads back to the Pentagon to type up his report, but before he’s had a chance to work his way through certain inconsistencies in the story of Dr. Boyle, one of the dead scientist’s closest colleagues, terrorists attack San Francisco with a truck bomb. He’s pulled off his dead-scientist case and sent to the scene to represent the DOD in the ensuing investigation. There, he learns that, thanks to an absolutely stunning coincidence, one of the victims of the attack appears to be Dr. Boyle, recently of the shark-eaten scientist case. But before he can make any headway into this assignment, he’s yanked yet again and sent on another investigation, this time to look into the death of a soldier in Florida, who, in another stunning coincidence, happens to be one of Cooper’s former comrades-in-arms. Just when he thinks he knows who did it, he is yet again removed from his case and sent on a brand-new mission, which, coincidentally (notice how that word keeps popping up?) involves working with a prime suspect from his last case (the Florida case, if you’re having trouble keeping track). From there, the million-to-one shots really get out of hand.
Cooper is a great character, but a plot that relies on way too many outlandish coincidences ultimately ruins the book.