A journalist and a lawyer stumble upon secret experiments and a government conspiracy in Lowe’s debut mystery novel.
Reporter Enzo Lee is keeping a low journalistic profile in San Francisco by specializing in light newspaper features. After he reluctantly tackles a story of a judge found dead in her office, avoiding front-page news becomes the least of Lee’s worries. The judge’s death is associated with a prosecutor—killed by a hit-and-run—another attorney and the judge’s niece, Sarah Armstrong, who’s nearly a victim herself. As more people are murdered, Lee and Sarah learn of a company, AgriGenics, that genetically enhances fruits and vegetables—but the company’s ties to biological weapons put the snooping couple in its scope. Lowe's taut thriller is fronted by a likable protagonist who retains his sense of humor even under a constant threat of death. Lee easily generates sympathy, especially since he doesn’t particularly enjoy his unbearable circumstances—he was content averting controversy with his newspaper features. Both he and Sarah are resourceful characters, and their mutual attraction and ensuing relationship is believable. In the same regard, the two convincingly manage the intrigue: Sarah connects the murders through her prior involvement and Lee, the former hard-hitting reporter, utilizes sources and information as a means to take the offense. The story’s long-reaching conspiracy is elaborate but never overwhelming, so readers can appreciate the stockpiling of secrets, elusive characters and murders committed to preserve those secrets. One of the supporting players, a female detective named Bobbie Connors, who proves an asset to Lee, threatened to steal the spotlight completely if she’d been allowed a more substantial part in the story.
A thriller with an ideal fusion of wile and wit.