In Holcroft’s debut thriller, a lawyer looks into the murder of his client, a witness who may have spotted an unidentified accomplice in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
In 2011, Dallas attorney Mike Marchetti has only known his newest client, Robert Baker, an agent for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, for a few hours before Baker turns up dead, killed in an alleged robbery. It turns out that the agent had a plan for this eventuality, though, leaving Marchetti money to investigate his death. It seems that he was one of 10 people who claimed to have seen an unknown man with Timothy McVeigh more than 15 years earlier, right before the infamous bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Not only has the FBI failed to locate the mysterious accomplice, but with Baker gone, the original 10 witnesses are now down to four—the others also died in dubious circumstances, including two in separate drive-by shootings. Marchetti and his private-investigator pal Tom Shannon see potential links between McVeigh and various groups, including terrorists and white supremacists. They also suspect a “high-level cover-up,” speculating, among other things, that the explosives at the Murrah Building were considerably more than just a truck bomb. A break-in at his office makes Marchetti believe that his investigation has made him a target himself. This is all but confirmed after two separate attempts on his life. Hopefully, he can stop whoever’s after him before they hurt someone he loves—such as his 10-year-old son, Scott. Holcroft’s taut narrative starts the core mystery off on the very first page, and quickly piles on the suspects and conspiracy theories. The protagonist, meanwhile, has a personal investment in the tale, having lost his younger sister during the 9/11 attacks, and he faces myriad obstacles along the way—including Baker’s daughter, Sheri Baker, whose lawyer demands that Marchetti return the posthumous $20,000 retainer. Instances from the villains’ perspectives primarily highlight specific dangers to Marchetti, but the overall sense of menace gives the story a relentless edge, as if anyone could attack at any time. The ending is both realistic and terrifying: Marchetti does get answers, but only some—and a further threat could very well still exist.
A fast-paced investigation, full of mystery and suspense.