cover image Black Nowhere

Black Nowhere

Reece Hirsch. Thomas & Mercer, $24.95 (314p) ISBN 978-1-5420-4291-8

This brisk, provocative series launch from Hirsch (The Adversary) introduces FBI special agent Lisa Tanchick, a member of a taskforce charged with taking down Kyte, a website for the sale of illegal drugs run by the anonymous CaptainMal. CaptainMal is in reality Nate Fallon, a Stanford student who sees Kyte as simply another start-up that provides a product the public wants: reasonably priced illegal drugs delivered safely to their doorstep. Using an online alias, Lisa tries to work herself into CaptainMal’s confidence. Meanwhile, Nate must deal with the website’s management problems while maneuvering to keep it out of reach of the law. Their cat-and-mouse game takes a darker turn after a Kyte underling decides to cooperate with the Bureau, and then Nate has to confront a savage Mexican drug cartel that wants to put him out of business. Though Lisa’s clinical depression (the black nowhere of the title) is largely irrelevant to the story, readers can hope her character will be better developed in the sequel. Those interested in a look at the dark potential of web commerce will be satisfied. Agent: David Hale Smith, Inkwell Management. (Sept.)