Former gambler Charlie Clark and his Alzheimer's-suffering ex-spy dad Drummond continue to dodge assassins, the CIA and international law enforcement alike while trying desperately to save Charlie's girlfriend from kidnappers.
Following the events in Thomson's Once a Spy (2010), Charlie and Drummond Clark and Alice Rutherford are in Switzerland. Drummond is undergoing experimental therapy for his Alzheimer's, while Charlie and former NSA operative Alice are exploring their newly found feelings for each other. The book opens with Charlie and Alice at a Swiss racetrack, and still constantly looking over their shoulder for members of the clandestine group the Cavalry, who are intent on killing them all before Drummond, a former member, reveals their secrets in a fit of dementia. On their way back to their hideout, Alice is abducted by a highly skilled team in a helicopter, and Charlie is told that the only way to get her back will be to barter one of the Cavalry's fake nuclear devices disguised as a washing machine. The trick will be to get Drummond to stay lucid long enough to figure out where the device is hidden, all while dodging an ever-growing list of well-armed people who'd like to see them either locked-up or dead. Thomson again hits a sweet spot in this highly original thriller, balancing gripping action sequences with humor a step or two above what you'd expect from the genre. Things tend to drag toward the last pages as Charlie sets off on his own to tie up some loose ends, but not enough to really bring things down.
Buoyant, fast and fun.