Klein’s dark thriller snaps a picture of a man commissioned to prevent the collapse of a Florida software company, but the outcome is anything but what it portends.
Jimmy Thane has a checkered past. A failure at work, fatherhood and marriage, he recognizes that the job opportunity he receives from an old buddy might well be his only chance at redemption or, if he fails, his ticket to hell. His mission: to turn around a failing software company called Tao Software LLC. When Jimmy reports to work as the new CEO, he’s greeted by an indifferent receptionist and a mostly absent staff. Also missing is the former CEO, who simply disappeared one day. Jimmy soon finds that law enforcement is interested in finding out what happened to him, but he has other issues to deal with first. Libby, his wife, seems sullen, almost hostile. Jimmy is certain it has something to do with their son’s death, which occurred on his watch. However, that doesn’t explain the other anomalies he’s finding along the way, including the sudden interest in Tao’s software products by a large bank, despite initial indifference, a large deposit to his personal checking account and a secret in the attic of what appears to be an abandoned house. Add in a shadowy Russian mobster, some troubling questions for which there seem to be no answers and the people trying to discourage Jimmy from doing his job, and Klein builds a mountain of suspense, only to coat it with oil so that every time readers think they have it all figured out, they’re sliding back to square one. Jimmy isn’t a particularly sympathetic character, but he’s interesting, and the decidedly odd reactions of those around him only add to the justifiable perception that something isn’t quite right.
Infused with pacing worthy of the earlier works of Dean Koontz, Klein’s crafted a tale as tightly wound as a watch spring.