This new novel from Jon McGoran opens with a bang - - literally. Actually, several of them. The first few are from the pounding on the front door of a house, the next few are from gunshots, which quickly put an end to the door-pounding.
The door is that of Detective Doyle Carrick and Nola, his girlfriend. And the man shot to death is, when Doyle Carrick opens the door and sees the body lying there, that of a complete stranger. As Doyle sees the dead man, he also sees a car speeding away from the scene, and the horrified, terrified face of a woman behind the wheel.
The case is assigned to Mike Warren, a detective with Doyle’s unit in the Philadephia P.D., whose [probably sole] insight in the case is to identify the dead man from ID in his wallet: Ronald Hartwell. It ultimately appears that the man’s wife, Miriam Hartwell, worked with him at a huge biotech company. Warren is certain that the wife is the chief suspect, while Doyle tries to figure out why it was his house to which they had come, suspicious that something else was going on, that perhaps they were acting as whistleblowers, Doyle having earned a reputation in taking down large biotech companies in the past.
When Doyle finally gets to meet with Miriam, the story she tells him is a complex one which, to quote the publisher, “uncovers a web of deceit, intrigue and mass murder, with giant biotech corporations [are] working to topple the Haitian government.” Doyle feels compelled to follow up Miriam’s story, with “the stubbornness that I usually allowed to ruin my life and my career.” And he comes close to doing exactly that again. What ensues is a tale of environmental activism, GMOs and hybrid crops, genetically modified seeds and biotech products, with Ebola-like diseases at the heart of the conspiracy.
My husband, Ted, and I loved the author’s first two books in the series, “Drift” and “Deadout,” and this one doesn’t disappoint. In the early pages, there are vivid descriptions of Philadelphia and its environs. The writing is compelling, and the book a page-turner (although I would have been the last person to expect that from a novel filled with material so foreign to me). Mr. McGoran gives the reader is very satisfying ending. And things come full circle as the final page of this outstanding novel describes a pounding on Carrick’s front door, this time not from a man about to be shot to death....Continua