The second book in MacLarty's thriller series featuring globetrotting, ask-no-questions delivery man Simon Leonidovich succeeds in all the areas that its predecessor didn't and establishes Simon as a character worth following. Fresh from his previous case, where he helped expose a diet pill that was about to cause a medical holocaust, Simon is approached by Big Jake Rynerson, a wealthy hotel magnate (think Donald Trump). Rynerson's daughter, an eco-activist, has just been kidnapped in South America, and he wants Simon to deliver the ransom. Simon is aided by a small staff of Rynerson's confidants, including a world-renowned expert on kidnap recovery. It doesn't take long for the crew to realize that the kidnappers have every intention of killing the daughter, money or not, and a simple delivery will no longer suffice. While the first book in the series, The Courier , was heavy on the chase and thin on the science driving it, this entry is well-rounded and compelling. It has all the elements of a great thriller—a chase, a vicious villain, a healthy dose of red herrings, and, most importantly, a likeable hero—and MacLarty balances these components expertly. Agent, Jane Dystel. (Aug.)
Forecast: It will be a struggle for this title to make bestseller lists, despite print advertising in USA Today and Web marketing, given the crowding there, but MacLarty is well on his way to making a name for himself.
Release date: 07/01/2004