In Allen’s debut novel, Capt. Vicky Clark of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. gets a surprising, sexy introduction to the jet-setting world of U.S. Army espionage.
In the early ’90s, Clark is invited to join an elite group of accomplished officers who are charged with the clandestine investigation and apprehension of “bad apples” in the Army—generals and staff officers engaged in illegal or dishonorable activities and consider themselves beyond the reach of conventional law enforcement. Clark’s fellow operatives are all women as beautiful and sexually charged as she is, and as their chase of a corrupt general leads them to cities all over the world, the newest member of the group is surprised by the strength of the personal—as well as the frankly described sexual—relationships that develop among the women. “My new world is not what I thought it was going to be,” she realizes at one point. “It is much bolder and better.” Clark and her fellow “lionesses” get their assignments and take their orders from the charismatic, “all-knowing” Gen. C, who has a flair for the dramatic and absolutely no male operatives. If at this point readers are reminded of Charlie’s Angels, this is not a comparison Allen necessarily discourages. But she has retooled the old formula for a more jaded and knowing era, and her knowledge of the military mindset (developed over her 36-year career as a federal civil servant with the Army) gives a much-needed grounding to the sometimes unbelievable excesses of her story. Allen’s prose is direct and unadorned, lacking in nuance, but the camaraderie of the lionesses engages the reader enough to keep the pages turning.
Readers who like their espionage with a strong undercurrent of eroticism will find much to entertain them here.