Thelma and Louise go clandestine, in a first hardcover by veteran Doherty.
Or make it Hannah and Neeley. These two resentful young women—cheated by love, cheated by life—are out to get back at . . . whatever. Start with Neeley. Her incredibly handsome and beloved Jean-Phillippe (“his name rolled through her brain with the accent she had acquired from her summers in France”) asks her to deliver a package as she boards a plane for Berlin. That it contains a bomb indicates an unmistakable shortfall in his feelings for her. But superagent Tony Gant foils the deadly plot, rescuing Neeley in the process. Gant works for the Cellar, more sub rosa than the CIA. He trains Neeley, converts her into a killing machine. Cut to Hannah Masterson, a housewife whose easy, yuppie existence is suddenly in shambles. Her ex-spy husband has inexplicably deserted her, leaving her penniless and bewildered. Back to Neeley in the aftermath of Gant's lingering death. Gnomic even posthumously, Gant has bequeathed her a complex puzzle she must solve in order to survive an enemy both shadowy and implacable. Clues lead Neeley to Hannah, and the women rapidly bond. Hannah surprises all with certain latent superspy abilities. She can bash an assailant with whatever's handy, pull a trigger, fly a plane, and, in general, rise to any derring-do occasion. Turns out there’s a videotape McGuffin that malodorous Senator Collins and others are ready to kill for. Hannah and Neeley race them for it. Mr. Nero, the blind genius—during WWII Gestapo torturers poked his eyes out—who has run the Cellar for six decades, deals himself a hand here but plays his cards so close to the vest even he might not know what his game is. Obligatory sanguinary showdown follows. Fate of the nation in the balance. Will the distaff spy team prevail? Guess.
Standard plotting, labored prose, wait for his next.