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by Robert Wilson

Pub Date: June 8th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-15-101245-9
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

The accidental death of a Russian gangster sets demons of all sorts loose in this final installment in Wilson’s Seville tetralogy.

Only his death in a freak traffic accident has short-circuited Vasili Lukyanov’s plan to shift his allegiance from Mafia boss Leonid Revnik to Afghan War veteran Yuri Donstov, whose heroin-smuggling scheme spells big rubles for everyone. The routine accident seems unconnected to Inspector Jefe Javier Falcón’s ongoing investigation into the bombing of an apartment house (The Hidden Assassins, 2006, etc.), or his crusade to get to the bottom of his ex-wife’s murder, allegedly by her husband, disgraced judge Esteban Calderón. Yet whenever he presses Calderón’s girlfriend Marisa Moreno, the chief witness against the defiant judge, for details, he’s warned by an anonymous caller to mind his own business. Eventually the threats escalate to a more baleful kind of pressure: the abduction of his on-again lover Consuelo Jiménez’s eight-year-old son Darío. What could be worse than having to deal with kidnappers ready to kill the boy? Being caught between two sets of criminals, equally determined to bend Falcón to their will, both claiming to have Darío. It’s no wonder that Falcón’s hard-pressed to help his best friend Yacoub Diouri, an undercover agent who’s infiltrated a group of Moroccan terrorists only to find that they’ve enlisted Yacoub’s son Abdullah as a suicide bomber.

Half a dozen other meaty, painstakingly interlinked subplots make this climactic volume as close-knit as a prose poem on counterterrorism. For fans of international intrigue, however, this capstone is the mother lode.