A sniper has already taken down nine blameless citizens, apparently at random. No one knows who the tenth will be—well, almost no one.
Boundlessly ambitious Sam Stevens loves his job as a local TV reporter but hates his wife. It’s a marriage in extremis whose participants waste no opportunity to maim each other emotionally. The union reaches a new low, however, when Sam realizes that beautiful, heartless Denise has now established their ten-year-old son as a surrogate target. “I see you in him,” she says bitterly during a typical free-for-all. This intolerable situation will irreparably scar Tommy if it continues, Sam decides. So he discontinues it in a manner as clever as it is brutal. Then, true to the law of unintended consequences, Sam receives an unsettling visit late one night from ex-Special Forces soldier Ray Fine, “a man trained not just in killing but in terror.” He knows what Sam’s done, Fine says, calmly explaining why the act requires a sequel. So begins a dance macabre that places Sam Stevens and Ray Fine in a lethal gavotte with a series of unlucky, unsuspecting partners chosen at random.
A hyper-plotter who trends to skimp on character development, Stone (Breakthrough, 2003, etc.) leaves his readers with dueling cold-blooded murderers but no rooting interest.