Dunne, Mar 2004, 23.95, 320 pp.
The soul of Moscow Crime Bureau Chief Dimitri Danilov is filled with vengeance as he desperately needs to kill Igor Gavrilovich Orlov for murdering his lover. At about the same time while Dimitri thirsts in frustration, insane yet brilliant Orlov begins his plan of a hostile takeover of his business rivals, the Italian and American mafias with his goal being king of kings of an international corporation of mobsters. Being Russian brings Orlov to the attention of Bill Cowley, chief of the FBI's Russian desk, who has his own problems dealing with alcohol.
Danilov and Cowley have worked together (see THE WATCHMAN) and share mutual trust and like something neither believes in towards their respective bureau's employees. As Orlov raises the death count including FBI agents and innocent bystanders as well as his rivals, Danilov and Cowley deal with their bureaucracies seeking to shift culpability elsewhere while also demanding full credit if success occurs. Frustrated they team up to stop a megalomaniac from triumphing in his hostile takeover bid.
Once again Brian Freemantle provides an exhilarating thriller that grips the reader once the three key characters have begun the march towards a final show down. The story line is fast-paced and filled with non-stop action.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner