An attractive securities analyst with blood ties to an immensely rich foundation finds herself in mortal danger when she goes snooping into the foundation’s financial matters.
Since the dead need no sleep, readers should be able to count on new Ludlum formula-adventures for the rest of time. The heroine of this multi-death, intercontinental super-thriller is clever but modest Andrea Bancroft, whose late mum had divorced herself completely from her evil ex-husband’s super-rich family when Andrea was a child. Andrea, reared without a penny from the Bancrofts, has been supporting herself doing due diligence for an investment firm specializing in undervalued corporations in need of a slug of capital. Her carefully nurtured career is blown out of the water by an invitation from the Bancroft Foundation and its head, Paul Bancroft, to join the foundation board, a position that makes her an instant millionaire. Meanwhile, miles away from the architecturally astonishing Katonah, N.Y., headquarters of the Bancroft Foundation, 40ish State Department operative Todd Belknap, whose specialty is finding unfindable evildoers, has been galvanized into hyper-action by the snatching and grabbing of his mentor and hero Jared Rinehart. By all indications, if Todd does not find Jared within hours, the man who saved Todd’s bacon more than once will be, well, toast. Andrea, much taken with her relative Paul Bancroft and his brilliant young son, sets about being a conscientious director by digging around in the organization’s records to see how the Bancroft wealth and Paul Bancroft’s megalomaniacal reading of 18th-century philosopher-economist Jeremy Bentham’s utilitarian theories are put to use. Bad idea. Her findings put her in the path of the frantic Todd Belknap, who mistakes her at first for one of the dark forces hiding his buddy. Their mutual attraction grows as they separately and jointly face possible death and torture from the Foundation’s dark side and from Todd’s old State Department cronies.
Never quite comes to a boil, even with all the corpses.