Francis Frick is an old man who has many axes to grind and who come across of nasty, grumpy and takes no prisoners. His opinion is the only one that matters and when it comes to business no dares defy him but when someone takes a bomb and his business goes up in smoke Francis Frick takes aim. His right hand girl Penny is killed and his employees for the most are dead others seriously injured and Frick is now the guest of the FBI trying to figure out why. Frick is a great character who manages to skirt many issues, make deals with the agents and then meets what might be his match 22 year old Hatty Parker. Bee and Ash are two unusual characters and although they go at each other at the start of the novel and Ash seems to be deserting Bee the events that follow and the realization that they need to remain as a team is what drives this novel forward and keeps Frick afloat. Bee is a great character and is angelic in nature while Ash is the adult in this relationship. Frick does so many things that are wrong and yet within the start of this novel you get the feeling that he wants justice for those killed in his employ and he wants to rectify the wrongs that he might have done.
Things take an unusual turn when Frick tries to bargain with the Feds and insists that Haddock his assistant be given immunity in order to be able to travel freely to find out information that will be revealed at a later time. Heinrich Ulrich is the villain from book one and is back in full force in book 2 when Frick and Hatty disappear and wind up in Africa and they meet once again but the scene proves violent and Hatty is not adverse to using weapons or force and the outcome is not what you would expect. We get to know his daughter Ruth in depth and Rachany who has just been given a child who we need to learn more about and where the child came from and why.
Haddock goes to Scotland and wants to find Frick’s father and his family but what he learns alerts readers that something odd is happening and the link to Ulrich is revealed and a journal that he has in his hands for some reason disappears and now the knowledge he needs to give Frick is gone but where did it go? An older woman seems to be at the root of this site but just exactly who she is when the truth comes out you won’t believe.
Things take on many different turns when Frick and Hatty once again wind up in Africa but this time it turns deadly and dangerous as Bee cannot help him, Ash becomes livid with his behavior and they meet a young boy who seems to want to help or understand them until they once again come face to face with Ulrich but not as an adult and the ending changes it all. Francis wants to assassinate Ulrich but Ash explains that lives are important and that he cannot do that. What Ash does brings both Hatty who has been shot in the arm and treated by Frick for the injury and Francis back needing an anti-venom drug to keep him from dying from a black mamba snake bite. But, will the EMTS buy her story about how this happened?
Frick and Hatty formed an odd alliance and when Bee takes matters in her own way miracles happen but questions need to be answered and one FBI agent named O’Malley thinks he’s lost it and his boss agent Adams wants answers. How could Frick survive a deadly snakebite without the anti-venom? What happens next is right out of a Sci Fi- movie as Frick tries to explain and his daughter Ruthy feels left behind when Francis seems more attached to Hatty and strange things are about to be revealed. Haddock shows up index cards to be assessed Hatty no longer arrested and the shocking revelation that haddock will reveal but will Adams buy it? When Frick learns the truth about his past and his mother you won’t believe the curve ball or shall I say the pomegranate juices that would flow like a huge river spilling out truths that everyone wants to hope are lies.
Ruth leaves and there’s a child in question that Rachany loves her but where did she come from? Ash and bee have to make a crucial decision, as Haddock and Francis need to unravel the past in order to survive in the present. Friendships are frayed and loyalties are destroyed and Zette has something that would change it all but will Haddock find it and get it to Frick? Ulrich needs to be found and Frick needs to confront him but things will take a dire turn before all answers to questions are revealed.
Confrontations arise and the truth unfolds as Rachany learns who the child is, Ruthy has her husband Roman and Frick agrees to something making Ruthy feel glad yet hurt.
As Frick and O’Malley come to verbal blows and bee needs to choose sides what will happen next and where will Francis be sent?
O’Malley gets a call and Francis goes into a tirade and we learn more about the cards and why Monroe Hatty boss is not who they think he is and the identity of his partner shocking Francis.
Ash and Zette come to unusual terms and Bee will learn the consequences of her actions yet you know that she did everything with a good heart as Hatty takes matters into her own hands after being kidnapped and who the kidnapper turns out to be is another added twist and surprise created by author Mark Sasse and one that you won’t believe or ever forget. Ash and Zette remind Bee that she has not followed the rules and taking care of Francis and saving his life from death places her out of their depth of control or wanting her to be part of them anymore. Why? Zette is evil at times and yet for some reason Ash does not want us to believe that and can control her except when we realize he cannot.
The ending leaves us wondering what the fate of Ulrich, Haddock, Francis, O’Malley and Adams will be and the precious child who has been forgotten will she remain save in the arms of her new mother? The final last page lets us know that there is more in store but will Bee be apart of Frick’s life? Will Ash ever return or will Zette win this time? Loyalties are tested, friendships might be at stake and the final ending leads us to understand that there might be more that we need to learn about the African Connection and Frick, Ulrich and their connection too. Once again author Mark Sasse has created the character of Frick so ingenuous that at times we hate him, love him and actually want to go into his closet and get him out in order for him to see the real light. Bee is everyone’s hope for love, safety, understanding and more than friendship, security knowing that somehow she’s there for Francis. But what will happen next is in the mind and pen of author Mark Sasse when he completes the trilogy and we learn more.
ONE DAY TO MAKE IT RIGHT?
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ network/MJ Magazine