cover image Other Eyes

Other Eyes

Barbara D'Amato, Forge, $25.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2606-5

In this scattered stand-alone from D'Amato, her first thriller since 2004's Death of a Thousand Cuts, Blue Eriksen, a controversial anthropologist at Northwestern University, believes psilocybin, the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms, could lead to a cure for drug addiction. That possibility is enough for an international drug consortium, Leeuwarden Associates, to send assassin Felix Hacker to eliminate her, a task that proves unexpectedly difficult. Marcus Holton, a federal agent obsessed with tracking Hacker, and art recovery expert Joseph Stryker, the brother of one of Hacker's victims, also get involved. D'Amato does fine with both Blue's romantic life and the pitfalls of archeological digs in Peru and Turkey that Blue undertakes, but loses focus with a drug summit in Mexico and an imagined ancient burial scene. The contrived ending, in which a bad guy talks too long to an intended target in a gun fight, may disappoint those who expect this author to avoid the usual genre clichés. (Jan.)