Willis completes his trilogy about two generations of a family tied to an international syndicate of power brokers.
Nick Davis, of Rosewood, New Jersey, has just woken in his apartment from a drug-induced sleep. He last remembers his sister Amy and a thin stranger arriving the night before (see Lonely Deceptions and In Shadows), and now his home has been ransacked. Missing is the manila envelope containing documents his father brought back from World War II; still safe is the flash drive holding further scanned material of value to Cascade Systems, a ruthless group of blackmailers bent on manipulating U.S. politics. Further complicating Nick’s life is his love for Margaret, an FBI agent who, for reasons of her own, must abandon him just when their romance seems most promising. Nick hits the road for a fresh start, settling in Oak Bluffs, Georgia, with the name Bob Miller. Cascade Systems, however, has employed or coerced a network of people to gain Nick’s trust and to learn whether he shared secret information. Meanwhile, Cascade catches up with Margaret, who becomes embroiled in their twisted endgame. Will Nick escape his family’s long shadow? Author Willis (In Shadows, 2014, etc.) brings closure to the Davis family narrative, once again enshrouding readers in murky Southern-noir ambiance. As Nick drinks and pops caffeine pills, we’re told that “making and breaking promises to God to stop his self-destruction had become...routine.” He begins healing when he meets his new neighbor Jane Waters. Vulnerable and running from her own tragic past, Jane gets Nick to reveal himself as a caring soul who wants nothing to do with the world of espionage that claimed Margaret and his sister Amy. Throughout, Willis tends to rely on campy seductions to advance the plot; Nick’s psychiatrist comes on to him, and Margaret must put the moves on a businessman. More concrete details on why Cascade is evil, to add weight and refresh audience memory, would have been welcome.
A quick, rewarding finale for fans of the Nick Davis trilogy.