A terror attack on New York’s Times Square interrupts Professor Reinhart’s lecture. Knowing his partner was taking their adopted daughter there as a treat has him headed that way at breakneck speed. C4 explosive packages rip the Square apart, followed by a second attack by a squadron of bomb-carrying drones when the cops and swat teams have moved in. Detective Elizabeth Needham, now in the Terrorism Task Force, narrowly escapes with her life, and saves that of her boss, Evan Pritchard at the same time. With further carnage planned, she needs Dr. Dylan Reinhart’s razor mind to connect some seemingly disparate dots. Thus she is reunited with her old partner from MURDER GAMES to which this is the sequel.
One of the dots is a mysterious killer, Sadira Yavari, who plays a major role in the story and is the twist in the tale. Another is the fanatic terror controller, known only as the Mudir, who finally zeros in on Reinhart himself. There are at least two occasions when Reinhart has the Mudir in his sights but doesn’t pull the trigger – most frustrating; I was yelling “Shoot the mother!” at the page – due to questions to which he needs the answers.
Then there is the whiskey-swilling computer hacker who always comes up trumps, and Reinhart’s ex-CIA father whose aim is still pretty good, as well as being in the right place at the right time.
The back-story of Dylan Reinhart and his marriage partner, Tracy, with their adopted baby girl, is not totally convincing. Keeping the secret from Tracy that Reinhart was once in the CIA is supposed to be the big betrayal, when Reinhart finally admits this, which causes Tracy to leave him, taking the child. Again, not convincing, but these in-house gay lives apart, the action and ripping pace, in typical Patterson style, makes up for any flaws. The Roughan/Patterson partnership has proved to be a great one.
A Century Imprint ISBN 9781780899411from Penguin Random House; thank you PRH-SA, for the ARC.