In the latest from Philadelphia attorney Jenoff (The Diplomat’s Wife, 2008, etc.), an American diplomat returns to London to face a personal tragedy and an international conspiracy.
Jordan Weiss has served in the trouble spots of the world. A career diplomat, she saw a colleague die in Liberia and is only back in Washington, D.C., to recover from a wound. But when her friend Sarah writes, asking for her, she knows she’s facing a truly terrifying assignment. Sarah is terminally ill, and she’s dying in London, the city where Jordan spent her postgraduate years coxing a men’s crew—and falling hard for one of the rowers, who died mysteriously weeks before graduation. As this nicely paced thriller opens, Sarah is pulling strings to arrange a transfer, and the action only picks up once she lands. Her new post has her investigating the Albanian mob, in the company of a sexy colleague, Sebastian. Another of her old crew, Chris, has turned up as well. Now an international journalist, he has uncovered evidence that Jared’s death was neither an accident nor a suicide, as Jordan long feared. Jenoff’s heroine has a lot on her plate, but she isn’t always up to the task. Granted, she is battling jet lag and heartbreak, but she constantly botches what should be routine work, ham-handedly bungling a first interview with a potential source and obliviously allowing both the men in her life to manipulate her. Still, the lucid writing, complete with lovely descriptions of Cambridge and London, make this a somewhat enjoyable read. By the end, although several double crosses add to the dubious believability of the book, Jenoff has us rooting for Weiss and her much more deserving buddy, Sarah.
For those who buy the heroine’s clumsiness, this thriller delivers politics and plot.