From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Vince Flynn
Bright, young, and ambitious, Quinn Barry desperately wants to be an FBI agent, even as she programs databases in the basement of the J. Edgar Hoover Building. But Quinn's career -- and her life -- are about to change wildly. Testing a new program, Quinn's computer savvy turns up a mysterious DNA link among five gruesome murders. A link that the old FBI system had been carefully programmed to miss. A link that nearly costs Quinn her job, and soon, her life...Pitted against a conspiracy of unimaginable proportions, Quinn will match wits against powerful government forces that will use any means necessary to keep their dirty secrets hidden -- secrets that will land her in the clutches of a sadistic, brilliant madman who holds the key to it all.
An FBI computer programmer with no law enforcement training leads her own wildcat search for a serial murderer, stumbling across a secret government plot in the process, in this outlandish thriller by an author capable of much better. While still settling in to her new job at the FBI, computer jockey and aspiring agent Quinn Barry discovers what appears to be a serial killer case that nobody's investigating. When she brings it to the attention of her boss, Barry is not only ignored but demoted. As a result, the quick-tempered, impulsive 26-year-old decides to investigate on her own. Her first move: venturing alone at night to the remote home of sinister Eric Twain, a suspect in one of the killings. Barry, still suspicious of Twain, nonetheless teams up with him to track down the killer, who tortures young women who fit a certain physical profile not surprisingly, Barry matches it before raping and killing them. Along the way, Barry becomes adept at all sorts of investigative techniques. She cuts glass to get into homes, theorizes about the psychology of mass murder and fights off several attackers before discovering that the case may be rooted in a highly classified government nuclear defense program. Mills has written several smart, classically conceived thrillers (Rising Phoenix; Free Fall) starring the always fascinating Mark Beamon, a disgraced FBI agent trying to fight his way back into the bureau's good graces. With his latest, Mills has created a main character who strains credibility from the start and a brittle plot that eventually drifts into a tedious chronicle of sexual sadism.
The story line was difficult to follow. Maybe identifying the bad guys was part of the thrill. Then the two good characters couldn't have been any more stupid. The heroine I was rooting for, but at times I was thinking it served her right the hideous outcomes that nearly happened to her when there were as plain as day options she could have taken to keep herself from peril. But in spite of the frustration I felt, I did enjoy the book.