Little, Brown, Sep 2004, 19.95, 400 pp.
They call Cassandra Chameleon a witch because of her abilities to change her identity, “seduce” her opponents and her victims even without meeting them, and completing the kill; she is the ultimate cold blood professional assassin.
New Scotland Yard investigates the sinking of two ships in the same night near Folkestone and off Calais; several counterintelligence agencies worry that the incidents parallel events in other places over the past few years that culminated with assassinations. MI5 fears that the sinking is the calling card of the magical Witch in England to kill a VIP. As the cops follow clues, espionage agencies in Britain and France struggle to cooperate to stop the ingenious femme fatale assassin? However this time Witch knows she must be even more cautious to avoid mistakes because besides her hefty fee this job is personal, which means emotions could hamper judgment.
The story line moves quickly forward with several plots tied together in a sort of Sink the Bismarck kind of way as several groups independently give chase. Separately these various counterspy agencies and police force know they will fail, but if they can bury their jealousies and work as a team, together they might succeed; that is the timely message that Ian Rankin furbishes in his action-packed multiple perspective Sink the Witch thriller.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner
The Secret Service has only a hint that a terrorist named Witch may have snuck back home. Few believe she even exists, but Dominic Elder is called back from retirement to prove it.
Two eager young detectives from Special Branch, along with the bright 25 year old intelligence technician who chose to read between the lines in discovering the case, accompany Elder in turning over rocks from Paris to Germany and back, gaining an attractive novice Parisienne detective en route. All are on the lookout for this ‘ghost' from Dominic Elder's past, as they follow leads to attempt to discover her target before she makes her hit.
Is it a delegate to the International Summit, or does she, too, have a personal agenda?
This report prepared by Wendy Taylor