An ambitious soccer mom drives her husband to murder.
When Jessica Coder was a child, her mother held Jessica’s hand to a red-hot stove burner. Years later, Jessica lost her first child when her husband Thane’s business associate, James King, refused help that could have saved the boy’s life. Now Jessica seeks revenge. She prods her sappy husband to shaft King in a business deal that will make them rich enough to turn their upstate New York home into a palace and send them jetting all over the world. So what if Thane has to consort with the Mafia, deceive the FBI and murder three men? He suffers an occasional crisis of conscience, even spotting King’s (read Banquo’s) ghost a couple of times. But his wife’s passionate whispers keep him going. “You eat or you get eaten,” Thane admits to a prison psychiatrist in one of several scenes that dminish the suspense factor by revealing early on that Thane and Jessica are doomed. Alas, convicted killer Thane gives readers little to pull for, as does wife Jessica, a ludicrous and nearly laughable Lady Macbeth from Skineatles who pops pills, hides from mirrors and comes on to a repellant Mafioso. Green (Exact Revenge, 2005) thus leaves himself with only the chase to engage readers. Jessica’s scheme, intricate enough, gives Thane the daunting task of pitting the FBI against the mob against King’s business enterprise, which is involved in building a New Jersey shopping center to rival the Mall of America. All of this plays out in some fairly supple action scenes. Nevertheless, the book possesses a been-there escaped-that quality, as when Thane, headed home in his truck during a lightning storm, floors it to ditch some FBI agents.
This pot never quite boils.