THE PUPPET MASTER
Coffey's trademark elements are here:
a fast pace, complex plot and interesting characters. What makes this story so intriguing are the questions it raises about ethics -- or lack of them -- behind closed doors everywhere.
NASA scientist Alanna Mendes, computer whiz Jay Alexei and brilliant financier David Collier have one thing in common: On some level, each has nothing left to lose. Alanna's devastated by the death of her fiance, Jay can't get work in his field after hacking into a classified mainframe and David's professional problems are the least of his worries -- his daughter has a rare kidney disease that will soon take her life.
Someone is willing to give them all what they want most in return for their help with a top-secret project. Nothing illegal's involved: A personal wrong done to their employer will be avenged, but there are potentially far-reaching repercussions. Can the three of them live with the consequences if they do as they're asked -- or deal with what's at stake if they don't? (MIRA, Jan., 400 pp., $6.99)