With its constant danger, suspense and gritty reality, Pearson's novel is written with consummate skill. It should appeal to fans of the Lou Boldt series and likely engender new ones as well.

Seattle police detective Lou Boldt faces his wife Liz's ex-lover, David Hayes, recently paroled from a six-year prison stint after embezzling from the bank where Liz works.

Hayes contacts Liz. He wants her to use her job to help him access the money he embezzled for some Russians, whose favored method of torture is pulling off fingernails. As Liz confides in Lou, old hurts are resurrected—especially when the Russians threaten to expose a videotape highlighting Liz and David's affair unless Liz helps them regain their $17 million.

When a cop and a D.A. are tortured Russian style, Lou wonders how they're connected to Hayes and the mob. For Liz and Lou to bring their lives back to normal, they must complete the most complex undercover op Lou has ever engineered.

(Apr., 352 pp., $23.95)
Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick