by Leslie Jones
on Tour February 1 – March 3,
|Larkspur is a unique and hardnosed girl who prefers to handle things on her own and take action when needed. But, somehow through some fault of her own she was asked to analyze a piece of malware that would send her on the radar of the mob. This one easy task would change her life forever as she was at her sister’s bachelorette party, about to leave when she is attacked and going to be abducted by two thugs. Mace is the man who flies to her rescue but she is too nearsighted to realize that he is not part of the group sent by a powerful mob lord to hunt her down and instead she captures him, ties him up with her scarf and holds him captive in her hotel room. Lark as he is called is a former hacker turned FBI cybersecurity specialist. Her real named is Hadley, Lark for short.
Delta Force operator Thomas “Mace” Beckett seems to like her at first glance and his in Boston waiting his next mission when he sees these thugs attempt to kidnap her. Like a knight in shining armor he tries to come to her rescue except as I said before she captures him by pulling a gun on him. Mace falls for her even before they meet Elliot and his uncle whose pulling the string as she is accused of steal 50 million dollars of mafia money and they will get it back anyway they see fit including torture or murder. The money is for something deadly that is going to be auctioned off but will Lark and Mace plus the Delta Force team, Homeland Security and the FBI be able to find the original hacker that hacked into her computer and the information to stop what someone has already put in place?
Mace and his team have promised to protect her but when she is kidnapped from her sister’s wedding and taken prisoner there is no one there to help her except herself. Learning more about the maleware and delving into the programs and given access to find out where the hacker came from, the original site on outlook.com and more Lark learns that someone hacked into the computer software of the Delta Force and that person might be hiding in plain site. When they realize that someone has managed to hide and wants to sell a suitcase nuclear bomb it sets them in motion as a team but the end result will shock readers just when they think they solved the problem and have the bomb.
The man in charge of kidnapping her was Mr. Sokolov and his henchman is Palachka plus another one named Iggy who would not hesitate to blow your brains out if it suited him. Questioned by Sokolov he noted that she works for the FBI in their Cyber Crime Division and stated that she used the handle SPURious and that she hacked into the MIT mainframe while at Cal Tech. Supposedly she stole his 50 million dollars and the rest of the meeting got painful and violent he even threatened his nephew Elliot. This she explained to the Delta Force Group in more detail and hoped they along with Mace would give her access to the FBI’s computers to locate the money and more. Getting on she contacted her connection named Chaos Cowboy hoping this person would help her find the information she needed.
Mikhail Kerghahov is Sokolov’s accountant and is next in line to be questioned by the FBI and warned that if he did not comply to what they want he just might disappear and his family too. When the FBI agent explained his choices will he give her what she wants or take his chances?
The author uses her experience and knowledge as an army intelligence officer which shines through in this novel. The characters are realistic, strong, and she allows readers to understand the strain, the coordination needed to pull off many kinds of operations. Lark is tough, no holds barred and yet at first when dealing with her critical and overbearing mother she backs off. The team consists of Jace, Alex, Tag, Gabe, Ken, Gavin and Scott. Doug is the man in charge and you get to know each of these men as they work together to stop what someone has put in place. She needed access to the SCIF and when she gets it you won’t believe what she finds.
Jocelyn worked with her when they both were hackers and developed a close friendship but not everyone is what they appear to be and in this world you never know who your friends are. Someone created a fake account and Lark was running an algorithm to match collar amounts with the dates and destinations. She also realized the time stamp or the time on the computer was one half hour in the future. Speaking to Doug she explained how he had assigned her to deconstruct a piece of malware that a security scan detected. The infected server was not located in the SCIF. It was just a regular server but in reality it was just a regular average server running virtual machines. The author once again uses her experience to full explain this on pages 234-235.
Bottom line someone she learned has been stealing classified information from their facility but for what person and where is the information going and to whom? Espionage!
Going back to Fatinaova and Fitch who hoped that he had delivered the package but did not and what he decided to with the bomb is more than terrifying and would kill thousands of people yet he had another use for holding it hostage. But, wait until you learn what happens at the silent auction when a startling revelation is revealed and lives are in danger when the unexpected happens. What happens when Fitch realizes that the package contained a nuclear bomb?
This is a story ripped right out of the headlines and the author’s knowledge of computer and computer hacking and malware helps add intrigue and more suspense to the twists, turns and surprise ending. The final revelation will make you understand that in this case there are many who were FRAMED!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine