Risk is the name of the game in this hot thriller from the exceptionally gifted Parker. Most of the characters are painted with varying shades of gray -- and some even pitch black. Parker delivers big time as excitement builds and a race around the globe kicks into high gear.

Wanting to get out of debt and get his life back on track, ex-con graphic artist Tom Fairchild decides to risk everything on a dangerous gamble. Millionaire businessman Stuart Barlowe asks him to recreate a valuable map that was badly damaged during a recent murder. Soon Tom realizes that Barlowe really wants him to create the perfect forgery.

Barlowe's daughter Allison isn't happy about her father's scheme to pass off the forgery to a Russian arms merchant as the original. But she's supposed to be supervising Tom's project as he gathers the tools and information he needs around Europe to complete it. As the body count starts to rise and the sharks start circling, Allison and Tom desperately search for a way to get out of this complicated mess with their lives intact. (DUTTON, Jan., 352 pp., $25.95)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith