White supremacists target a vulnerable FBI agent.
Portland psychologist Brian Hanson has eased into a relationship with FBI agent Louise Parker. With turbulent professional lives and poor track records in love, both recognize the wisdom of going slow. Hanson, a Vietnam veteran and recovering alcoholic with a penchant for violence, tends to get too involved in the lives of his patients. After he saves troubled Fred Robbins from jumping off a bridge to his death, Fred’s abusive lover Tony angrily assails Hanson for not letting Fred kill himself. Louise faces a more dangerous life-and-death situation when her team raids the lair of a neo-Nazi group called the White People’s Freedom Party. Agent Marge Williams, sitting in presumed safety in the command post van, is shot dead, though Louise, sitting next to her, dives out of the vehicle to safety. Just when the devastated Louise needs Hanson most, she is unable to open up to him. Worse, Party members Terry and Duane begin a subtle two-pronged assault, barraging her with menacing calls and deliveries and attempting to depict her as a lunatic, a traitor or both. The upshot is an internal investigation Louise fears she can’t survive. Can Hanson help her?
Schorr (Borderline, 2006, etc.) is an inveterate storyteller. The many detours in his second Brian Hanson novel, which include tidbits of Portland history and the mini-dramas of Hanson’s colorful clients, greatly enhance an otherwise modest thriller.