I have enjoyed the Detective Jackson series by this author, of which the ninth entry is scheduled to be released in August of 2014. The present novel is the second in the Agent Dallas books. The reader is immediately shown a facet of the personality of Agent Jamie Dallas when, in the opening pages, she undertakes skydiving with her colleague, on a bit. (This trait, of loving a challenge, is apparently one she shares with her creator, who has also been known to jump out of airplanes.) When Jaime wins the bet, that she couldn’t catch him in a free-fall, “not only did Sam owe her a hundred dollars, but for the next week, he had to call her ‘sir’ and give her sex whenever she wanted it.” But what she’s really anxious for is another undercover assignment. Hopefully soon enough to get out of Phoenix for the rest of the summer. Her wish is granted when she is called to San Diego: An FBI agent has been killed. Dallas, whose ultimate aim is to become a Special Agent, for now loves undercover work: “a license to lie, cheat and spy - - all for the good of her country.”
What follows is a look into the field of medical device research and development into what seems a very esoteric field: developing digestive-friendly microbiota, appetite-suppressant devices, and the like. Two particular companies seem to have a more-than-usually competitive relationship, and sabotage is suspected, with each rumored to have a mole in the other company, and with the murdered agent only the first victim. The stakes are huge: if one is to believe the studies, a very large portion of our society suffers from obesity, and a product to combat that has multi-billion dollar rewards.
A recurring theme is revenge, and fraught father-daughter situations. The cast of characters, as always with Ms. Sellers, is intriguing and unusual: Transgender agent Carla (formerly “Carl”) River, whose father was a convicted serial killer serving a life sentence; Kiya, a free-lance and very lethal operative from Uzbekistan who had been sold as a young child into marriage; homicide cop Raul Cortez, only four months on the job and with an active love life (or imagination) and a “rescue pig” named Grumpy; and Dallas herself, who had run away from home at 16 and never looked back, and whose connection to the murdered agent is very personal. An enjoyable read (although my preference is still for the Detective Jackson series, I must admit)....Continua