- unabridged recording, 12 CDs, 14.75 hours
- ISBN 978-1-40745-925-7
- Narrated by Skipp Sudduth
- available from Whole Story Audio
- source: prize at CrimeFest2011
- read an extract on Amazon
Detective Kessler, a Washington DC cop working on a seemingly insignificant case, is targeted by a 'lifter' - a person who 'lifts' information from people. Yet this lifter is different from others: he kidnaps and endangers his target's family to give himself the "edge". The task of safeguarding Kessler falls to expert in personal security, Corte, as the FBI race to try and find out what has made someone so uneasy they've called in a 'lifter'...
Henry Loving is a ruthless "lifter" who will stop at nothing, not even murder, to acquire the information that his contract requires. In the past he has even tortured and killed federal agents who've got in the way.
Loving is an expert at infiltrating organisations like the FBI that should be secure, planting moles, so that you are never really sure that everyone is who they purport to be. He operates on the idea that everyone has a price.
Deaver tries to base this novel on game technology - rock, paper, stone - but frankly that left me a bit cold. Agent Corte tries to work out why Ryan Kessler is being targeted by Loving, what information he has, and on the face of it there seem to be plenty of reasons. But then it seems that Kessler will give Loving the "edge" over another family member. The other important part of what Corte needs to find out is who has employed Loving.
I got a little tired of this plot being recycled as we worked our way through one after another of the family working out who is the real target. Corte frequently takes his eye off the ball, gets himself into yet another tight situation, and makes yet another mistake.
All of this gives Deaver the opportunity, and the excuse, to explore a bit more detail, another scenario, to expand the book. I came away with the feeling that it could have done with quite ruthless editing.
Skip Sudduth does an excellent job with the narration, but even with that, I was dying for at least the last 2 CDs for this story to get to an end. Nearly 15 hours is a long time.
My rating: 4.2