In this debut thriller, bitter men chase the single sweet thing life has to offer them: revenge.
David Sloane, however, is not among the vengeful. Though a decorated ex-marine, he's on the mild-mannered side, an ordinary citizen, a hard-working lawyer—brilliant, successful, but lonely, too, more so than he's prepared to acknowledge even to himself. Practicing in San Francisco, he's had 14 noteworthy wins in a row, and no one who's seen him sway a jury predicts a snapped string in the foreseeable future. And yet someone out there doesn't like him. Or, to put a slightly different spin on it, someone has singled him out for negative attention. His apartment has been ransacked, but nothing is missing. Clearly, an error has been made, David tells himself at first—mistaken identity. Wrong. And soon enough, mysteriously, he comes into possession of something ruthless people will unhesitatingly kill for—a file. It contains a 30-year-old secret, so wicked, so blood-drenched and so explosive that the nation's corridors of power would be cluttered with trashed careers if it were to be revealed. It also contains information important to David for highly personal reasons. In search of dangerous truths, David begins a perilous journey. During it, he finds friends and allies, a woman to love and a whole series of implacable enemies.
Dugoni's well out in front until the last 50 pages or so when an unfortunate fusion of over-cooked plotting and overwrought prose results in a tumble. Still, a writer to watch.