Can the unkillable man make the epic journey from outer space to home in time to save his loved ones?
In Maryland, a drone in an intelligence agency notices a name from the murky past popping up on his screen. Charlie Hardie vanished after being implicated in multiple murders. Nearby, in Philly, Charlie's wife, Kendra, is contacted simultaneously by her long-lost husband, who is frantically advising her to flee, and by an imperious voice warning her that she and son CJ must stay put or die. Charlie, it turns out, is on a tiny satellite in "low earth orbit." The mention by a mystery voice of Eve Bell—a nefarious name familiar to Charlie—snaps him out of his lethargy. Eve was Charlie's fellow prisoner in his last scrape (Hell and Gone, 2011, etc.), and her name evokes bitter memories. So too does the name Deke Clark, Charlie's partner as a federal agent, who may have betrayed him. Both are forgotten in the instant that the voice reveals itself to be a perfect clone of Charlie. Friend or foe? This question lingers as the two work by turns together and against each other. Back on Earth, Deke is abruptly barraged with discordant memories of his own about Charlie and decides, at great personal risk, to uncover the truth. A secret, and seemingly omnipotent, cabal tries to thwart both efforts. Cheeky movie quotations at the beginning of each chapter add zip.
Swierczynski's writing crackles with fresh attitude. But his plot may have jumped the shark this time, and readers unfamiliar with previous episodes could feel lost in the maelstrom.