The President’s daughter...
The women determined to save her...
The man with the power to betray a nation...
Melissa Riley arrives at her sister’s isolated Virginia country home to find herself plunged into a deadly drama. There the renowned Dr. Jessica Riley is attempting to draw the daughter of the President of the United States out of a severe catatonic trauma. The last thing young Cassie Andreas saw was an organized team ruthlessly murder her nanny and the Secret Service agents sworn to protect her. But to free Cassie, Melissa and Jessica must trust a mysterious, charismatic man.
Michael Travis made his fortune in the international underworld. He risked everything to save Cassie during that terrible night of bloodshed. And he has entered into a secret bargain with the President. But is his show of concern all a treacherous charade? Melissa and Jessica have no choice but to accept Travis as their ally—and to follow a dangerous plan that will lead them into the world of a killer who’ll destroy anyone standing between him and the...Final Target.
Jessica Riley is a psychiatrist whose experience with catatonic trauma is personal as well as professional: she brought her beloved sister Melissa back from total mental withdrawal with her patience and skill. When the daughter of the president retreats into blankness after seeing her nanny and her Secret Service protector murdered, Jessica is summoned to treat the little girl. Although Jessica can't reach into her young patient's frightened mind, Melissa can--and only Melissa understands why Cassie's so afraid. When Michael Travis, the mysterious and not totally benign stranger who rescued Cassie from the kidnap-assassination that traumatized her, arrives at Jessica's Virginia estate, he's able to stop the child's nightmares long enough for Melissa to join Cassie in her self-imposed darkness and pull her back into the light. But the price he asks for his continued presence is one that Jessica, Melissa, and the president may not be able to meet. Is he an ally or an enemy? Even Melissa isn't sure--and her complicated feelings for Travis and Cassie are especially tortured because her unusual gifts allow her to see a bloody future for both of them, one she may not be able to prevent.
Iris Johansen (The Killing Game, The Search) ratchets up the suspense in this fast-moving thriller, which ranges across international borders from Washington to Amsterdam to Paris with the help of Air Force One and Two. While the president isn't very satisfactorily developed except as a frightened father who'll do almost anything to save his daughter, Travis and Melissa are fascinating characters who linger in the mind after the last explosive page; hopefully, Johansen will revisit them in a future adventure. Meanwhile, this is her best and most engaging read in years. --Jane Adams