FBI Agent Ana Grey returns to infiltrate the volatile core of an eco-terrorist cell in the Pacific Northwest.
Only months after a traumatic shooting incident, Ana is still emotionally unstable when she returns to work and learns that a fellow agent—and former lover—was killed by a group of terrorists operating under the name of FAN (Free Animals Now). To find the murderer and prevent any further killing, Ana goes undercover as an animal activist. In the course of her investigation, Ana encounters Julius Emerson Phelps, the charismatic leader of a "family" of anarchists in rural Oregon, whose secret past could blow the Bureau to pieces. To matters worse, Ana learns that Phelps is preparing a cataclysmic act of terrorism. With time ticking away and her undercover identity in jeopardy, Ana must find a way to solve her case and foil Phelp's bloody plot.
At the start of Smith's superb third thriller to feature Ana Grey (after 2003's Good Morning, Killer), the FBI special agent, who's still recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder after shooting "a crazed detective on a suicide mission" seven months earlier, learns that the skeletal remains of her missing onetime fianc , fellow special agent Steve Crawford, have turned up in Oregon's Cascade Mountains. Ana later finds out Steve was murdered by members of an anarchist group with a penchant for homemade bombs. After training at the FBI's undercover school, Ana uses an alias to penetrate the group, which includes a former FBI agent gone bad, Dan Stone. As "Allfather" Stone plots a terrorist act he calls "the Big One," Ana must burrow through layers of paranoia to discover the precise threat the FBI is dealing with. Ana's nuanced and coolly observational narrative voice perfectly complements the well-paced action, which builds to a satisfying conclusion that leaves open the next chapter of Ana's story. 5-city author tour.