A U.S. soldier employs his Special Forces skill set to rescue his younger sister from kidnappers in Dimodica’s (Vile Means, 2016, etc.) thriller.
Izzy Soto Finley’s scheduled trip in 2006 to South America for her senior thesis (about the Dirty War in Argentina in the 1970s and ’80s) has caught the attention of some dangerous people. Unnamed military officers in Chile, with ties to the Empresa, a criminal enterprise, want to take down the Chilean president, Michelle Bachelet; she recently spoke at a memorial for diplomat Orlando Letelier, who was assassinated 30 years ago. Izzy’s mother, Constanza Soto, who once worked for Letelier, was at the memorial, too. Izzy is in Santiago, Chile, with her roommate Sandy, just as the Empresa is expanding their operations there. When Izzy makes a request to speak to the president about her paper, the criminal organization orders men to abduct the two young women. Fortunately, Izzy’s half brother is Cal Lozen, a Special Forces officer who was trained as a tracker by his father. With help from David Shields, a former Green Beret now with the Defense Intelligence Agency in Santiago, Cal questions various people about the girls’ whereabouts—using the occasional household tool, such as a mallet, as backup. Soon Empresa members come gunning for Cal. Dimodica’s novel keeps things moving with unwavering momentum. It offers breezy exposition, as in one man’s interview regarding the Empresa’s origins—a series of short, intermittent scenes that pay off with plenty of info. There are scenes of violence, primarily against villains, but moments of torture, once they get more physical than psychological, are only implied. The often serious plot is alleviated at times by wry humor; for example, David, after getting an update on Cal’s progress, asks, without a hint of sarcasm, “Is the body count increasing?” But suspense prevails as it turns out that the involvement of other agencies, such as the CIA and FBI, may not be helpful for Cal; at another point, Izzy’s parents are threatened after they contact the media.
A thoroughly entertaining tale with a brutal but commendable protagonist.