A senior federal investigator battles the even more senior federal investigator blocking his attempt to bring a big-time villain to justice. The switch: these investigators are wedded. Not that there’s much left for them in the bliss department. It’s a marriage under severe pressure from dueling egos and irreconcilable ambitions. Brock Andrews, head of a task force on organized crime, wants desperately to nail Ed Nelson, once a CIA super spook but now a sleazy, tacky, fast-buck operator who’ll sell anything to anybody—arms, drugs, secrets, whatever a well-heeled buyer’s heart desires. And if the prospective buyer happens to be a rogue government or right-wing US terrorist organization, so be it. Nelson’s problems are never ethical, only tactical—where to get the wanted stuff, how to kill whoever stands in his way. First Assistant US Attorney in California Alison Andrews—Brock’s wife and boss’starts out wanting Nelson’s hide as much as her husband does. But that changes when a certain highly placed Washington powerbroker convinces her that there’s a better plan. Turn the bad guy. Use the evidence Brock has compiled to make an informer out of Nelson. Go after the sharks, he says. There’s corruption on the loose even more dangerous than what Ed Nelson represents. Alison is drawn to the idea; Brock hates it. “Nelson’s somebody you just stop. Period,” he insists. So the gulf between them remains intact, actually growing wider as the tide of events washes away good will and mutual understanding. But then, finally, shockingly, the gulf closes—after a violent climax neither of the two foresaw or wished. A good story, twistier than it has to be, but held together by a sturdy spine: the intriguing war between the Andrewses, who love passionately even when they no longer dare to trust.