Inside inexperienced young San Antonio attorney David Owens, there’s a Clarence Darrow screaming to get out. Among those eager for the metamorphosis is Myra Ferguson, who happens to be the First Lady of the Land. She’s been watching avidly as David out-dueled a battery of lawyerly Goliaths to win a big-time divorce case. Nice settlement, custody of the kids, hamstrung husband who clearly didn’t think his high-powered minions had a chance of losing. Why such lively interest? To her, the parallels are obvious, since the president’s wife seeks to become the president’s ex. There are things, naughty things, illegal things, going on in her husband’s White House she wants no part of. Even more importantly, she wants her little boy out from under. Wicked Wilson Boswell, kingpin of TitanWorks, a software mega-corporation, is one of President Ferguson’s most influential advisors. He’s secretly been developing technology that will enable him to steal e-mail from anyone anywhere. Iago that he is, he’ll stop at nothing to gain insidious ends. For reasons better known to him than to Brandon’s readers, he’s decided that his nefarious plans are threatened by homemaker Myra and eight-year-old Randy. Boswell dispatches his pet nutcase, a brilliant if homicidal nerd, to track them down, object assassination. But heroic divorce lawyer David, together with curvy, unswervingly loyal secret agent Helen, parry the killer-geek at every turn in the virtual highway.
Many of Brandon’s potboilers (Afterimage, 2000, etc.) have been salvaged by courtroom pyrotechnics. Not this time. The suspense scenes are too scattered and mild, the plotting too wooly and wild.