Within the first few pages of this third in the Carol Golden novels, we are swept immediately into the world of terror into which the protagonist finds herself, as she is kidnapped and flown partway across the world from her hometown of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The reasons behind her kidnapping are unfathomable to her, other than the thought that it could be related to the wealth she had come into from her parents’ estate. Her captors appear to be a could-be model and a sexual harasser.
This is hardly the first time Carol (whose real name, Cynthia Sakai, she had only recently discovered) had survived an attempt on her life. She had had most of her memory destroyed after being attacked and left, unconscious, in a dumpster nearly a year ago. Still recovering from amnesia, she has only recovered bits and pieces of the first twenty-five years of her life before the attack. Her captors release her soon after they all arrive in London, when she becomes involved in their mission to track down a man with whom she was in a relationship when she was in college, in fact a professor who was even then considered a radical. She is told that he is trying to bring about the “downfall of the Western World,” which would seem to be hyperbole until they explain that his weapons are financial as opposed to militaristic and involve various complex financial manipulations which would affect the world banking system, all too real and sounding very close to exactly what the U.S. (among other countries) is and has been going through in recent years..
To say the plot is international in scope would be a vast understatement, taking our protagonist as it does from England to Switzerland, Egypt, Tahiti, New Zealand and on and on, covering all seven continents. (The brief descriptions of the world capitals and their most famous sites are beautifully done, I might add.) There is quite a bit of action and suspense here, and the plot doesn’t sound like a recipe that would lend itself to humor, but don’t let that fool you (although it is rather sly). If this work of fiction causes its readers some unease, that may have been at least part of the author’s intention. Be that as it may, it is a page-turner, and definitely recommended.
Parenthetically, the title derives from an old Chinese proverb: “A crisis is an opportunity riding the dangerous wind.”...Continua