cover image Wildcard


Rachel Lee. Mira Books, $6.99 (384pp) ISBN 978-0-7783-2129-3

Best known for her romantic fiction, Lee (aka Sue Civil-Brown) has shown a flair for suspense in recent works like her paranormal medical mystery Something Deadly. Now she delivers a highly complex thriller, the first in a new series. The titular wildcard, FBI special agent Tom Lawson, is assigned to investigate political fringe groups after an assassination attempt on a Democratic presidential candidate, but is taken off the case after he uncovers evidence that points instead to a sinister, spiderlike conspiracy reaching deep within powerful political, business and religious organizations-and back to 1329 B.C. As the plot flashes from ancient Egypt to medieval Syria to present-day Idaho and Guatemala, mysterious foreigner Renate Bachle persuades frustrated loner Lawson to abandon the FBI for her own secret organization of justice-seeking outsiders. While Lee's fans may be disappointed that there's little room for romance, the author's deft use of dialogue to make her stories convincing works as well with conspiracy theories as with contemporary romances, promising to attract an entirely new readership. Agent, Helen Breitwieser.