Tough-talking lawyer investigates the disappearance of millions from a corporate account—and finds out what happened to her missing father.
Rosalind Wilcox is general counsel to a Washington, D.C., financial group, but she’s not exactly a typical attorney. Her take-no-prisoners style has earned her the respect of her male colleagues and the awe of her boss, Marshall Waverly, a southern gentleman who confesses his favorite kink to Rosalind one boozy night: he wants to be dominated by her. She’s only too happy to crack the whip, thus doing pretty much as she pleases at Rigel Associates and finding life not too boring among the suits. And the pay is good: “Sure, people lived and died, loved, hated, sought the Great Spirit, climbed mountains, wrote novels, structured leasebacks under Delaware law, accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, held AK-47’s aloft in the name of Allah—but only one thing really mattered: capital flow.” That’s something Rosalind learned from her father when he disappeared after being indicted for his involvement in financial scams and shady deals. Before that, she and her four sisters had led a charmed life in sleepy Zanesville, Ohio, although tomboy Rosalind raised a lot of hell when no one was looking and still yearns secretly for Drew Gillespie, the working-class sex god who taught her how to handle a gun and, uh, other things. Rosalind’s investigation reveals that her family’s past is about to catch up with her: years back, a Rigel partner got the firm’s start-up capital from her father, and it’s possible that pére is mixed up in their latest project, a pipeline in Colombia to be financed by a group of investors that includes a Schwarzeneggeresque heavy named Van Zyk. Rosalind calls on Drew to help her out, but—practical as always—beds him before the shooting starts.
Newcomer Alderson develops a complex plot with real skill, though his laconic style removes the juiciness of a true thriller. And the heroine’s matter-of-fact amorality and cynicism fall flat.