cover image Duel to the Death: An Ali Reynolds Novel

Duel to the Death: An Ali Reynolds Novel

J.A. Jance. Touchstone, $26.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-5011-5098-2

In bestseller Jance’s uneven 13th Ali Reynolds novel (after 2017’s Man Overboard), Frigg, an artificial intelligence, switches her allegiance from her creator, serial killer Owen Hansen, to Stuart Ramey, second-in-command at High Noon Enterprises, a cybersecurity company owned by former L.A. newscaster Ali, who plays a supporting role in this outing, and her husband in Cottonwood, Ariz. Ambitious Graciella Miramar, the daughter of Sinaloa drug lord Felix Duarte, wants to acquire Frigg—who has been deactivated after switching allegiance, possibly by Stuart—for her own nefarious purposes. As a ploy, Graciella offers Stuart $2.5 million, a supposed gift from Hansen (who first introduced her to Frigg) that he can’t claim without reactivating Frigg. When Stuart and the others at High Noon Enterprises become aware of Graciella’s connections to the drug trade and her scheme, they plot to bring down the Duarte cartel, with control of Frigg hanging in the balance. Frigg’s intriguing humanlike behavior compensates only in part for a plot that never generates much suspense. [em]Agent: Alice Volpe, Northwest Literary. (Mar.) [/em]