Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Will Trent’s undercover assignment leads predictably to more action-fueled heartache for him and the rest of Slaughter’s continuing cast.
Will’s exacting boss, Deputy Director Amanda Wagner, has recreated Will as bad-boy Bill Black in the hope of getting information that could help shut down the operations of Big Whitey, a legendary (or perhaps nonexistent) Florida gangster whose tentacles have extended further north. Will has made good progress in worming himself into the confidences of petty crook Tony Dell and his stepsister Cayla Martin, a trashy pharmacy nurse with access to exactly the sorts of drugs that Big Whitey supplies to his clients. But Will’s friends in the Macon Police Department know nothing about his undercover work, and he’s constantly threatened with exposure or violence by their own activities. As usual, Slaughter (Criminal, 2012, etc.) gets things off to a supercharged start with an opening scene in which three men break into the home of two Macon officers, Detective Lena Adams and her husband, Jared Long, and open fire on Jared—a scene that ends with the shocking revelation that the third housebreaker is Will. The rest of the tale revolves around the widening gulf between Lena and Jared’s stepmother, Dr. Sara Linton, who considers wild-child Lena responsible for Jared’s shooting, as the GBI and the Macon cops try to smoke out Big Whitey. This time around, however, Slaughter keeps leaping from one time frame to another, so characters who’ve been wounded or killed in previous chapters return in perfect health to discuss their strategy or cross swords with each other.
As lurid and sanguinary as any of Lena and Will’s earlier cases but a lot more distractingly kaleidoscopic, as generic professional criminals battle for attention with the far more compelling histrionics of series regulars.