Special Agent Ana Grey—intense, unpredictable, brilliant—returns in an electrifying new novel of suspense.
Even on leave from the FBI, Ana can’t kick old habits: when she witnesses a drive-by shooting at an Italian restaurant in London, she helps the injured and gives testimony to the police. Still, it comes as a shock when, soon after, the Bureau contacts her—not because they want her to investigate the shooting, but because they want her to investigate the half sister she never knew she had, Cecilia, who lives in Siena and is married to Nicosa, a coffee mogul with some suspicious connections. Settling into their home under false pretenses is the least of the complications Ana encounters. The entire city of Siena is gearing up for its legendary horse race, the Palio—the dazzling annual culmination of ancient rivalries between the city’s many wards. But when her nephew is stabbed and her sister goes missing, Ana understands with painful clarity that there’s more than a horse race at stake here. And for Ana herself, it will mean an almost impossible choice between duty and family.
Smith's overly complicated fourth suspense novel featuring FBI special agent Ana Grey (after Judas Horse) takes the spirited Ana and her moody lover, Sterling McCord, to Siena, Italy, ostensibly to meet a half-sister Ana only recently discovered existed, Cecilia Nicosa. But in fact, they intend to check out Cecilia's husband, Nicoli, a wealthy coffee importer with a shady past. Nicoli's mistress has disappeared without a trace, the victim of a lupara blanco, or "white shotgun" murder. On arriving in Siena, Ana and Sterling find themselves over their heads in a morass of intrigue. How deeply involved is Nicoli with the area's crime lords? Who's trying to kill the Nicosas' teenage son? How corrupt are the local police? When Cecilia disappears, Ana wonders if she herself was the intended victim. A harrowing attempt to rescue Cecilia led by Sterling, who works for a private security firm, is a truly gripping conclusion to a book with far too many unnecessary entanglements.
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Overwritten as a high concept treatment for a movie. Clumsy sentences. Disjointed action. Predictable. Save your money.