NIOS has a rogue administrator. The National Intelligence and Operations Service handles top-secret missions such as using drones to target terrorists. But what if the targets selected are not really terrorists,
just enemies of the man who runs the organization? That's the fear responsible
members of the government have when Robert Moreno, an outspoken critic of the
United States, is assassinated in his hotel room. There is a fear that the NIOS is out of compliance, but any investigation to determine if there is something wrong must be done secretly to avoid a scandal that can cause issues for the current administration.
when Lincoln Rhyme and his team are called in. Rhyme is the foremost forensic expert the New York Police Department has, even though he has been a quadriplegic for many years. He has collected a team of skilled investigators to be his hands and legs and has the reputation
as the one person who can get to the truth if it’s possible. First and foremost on the team is Amelia Sachs, one of the force's top detectives and Rhyme's love. But there are many others: computer investigators, electronic surveillance, firearms experts, document examiners and chemical experts. The team has been given access to government files. A new player on the team is ADA Nance Laurel, a buttoned-down lawyer who isn't quite sure what to make of the informal group she now must work with.
Although the team believes a sniper has committed the murder, it soon appears that this is instead a refinement of the drone program which is supposed to avoid the collateral deaths that dropping huge explosive payloads provide. That means that there is no forensic crime scene to be investigated, as the murder actually was done in what is known as a ‘kill room’--a control room full of expensive computer equipment to steer the drone and fire the weapon hundreds or thousands of miles away. Although the investigation is secret, it becomes clear that someone in NIOS suspects what is going on. Witnesses start to be eliminated before the team can locate them and interrogate them. The investigation is thwarted repeatedly by someone who is always one step ahead. The team
speculates that things may be even more complicated than it first appeared. Rather than one assassin, there could be multiple players involved. Can they unravel the mystery in time to stop the next target from being killed?
This is the tenth entry in the popular Lincoln Rhyme series. Deaver has created a
memorable lead character and believable supporting characters. His plotting manages to balance on a tightrope: intricate but compelling. He creates a page-turner that has plenty of twists and turns to keep even the most experienced mystery reader satisfied. This book is recommended for mystery lovers and those who are unsure if all our government agencies can be trusted.