An insurance investigator is the only thing standing between a high-powered law firm and its billion-dollar payday in Hemming’s thriller.
Nick Martin is the team leader on his prestigious Boston law firm’s Prosperity Fund initiative, which uses money from investors to buy people’s life insurance policies. Just as the Prosperity Fund stands on the verge of a billion-dollar listing on the New York Stock Exchange, Nick’s colleague (and lover) Jennifer Rose discovers that the fund is not in compliance with an obscure piece of federal legislation, rendering the sales of the life insurance policies to the fund invalid. This development sets him on a collision course with Mihkel Ivanov, a partner at the firm whose clients include KGB members and who is “notorious for his bad manners and ill-temper.” Some of the desperate people who sold their life insurance policies begin meeting untimely deaths, as do people within the firm who question the fund or want out. Nick and the fund come to the attention of Alex Greene, a Paris-based insurance investigator, described by her 13-year-old niece Hanna as “Nancy Drew on steroids.” The Prosperity case puts Alex in the crosshairs: a contract on her life is assigned to Joshua Workman, a former Mossad agent, who just happens to be a former one-night stand. In Hemming’s debut thriller, Greene makes a strong first impression. She’s a formidable action hero who feels her best when pummeling an adversary and who has a zest for sex to rival James Bond’s (“She could say ‘let’s fuck’ in any language”). Hemmings efficiently establishes Greene’s world for future adventures, giving her a backstory that includes a long-missing sister who abandoned Hanna on her doorstep. The author neglects to follow through on an early scene in which Greene trains Hanna in self-defense—the reader will want to see Hanna use those skills. But the ending is a corker that sets up a much-anticipated sequel.
A solid series starter that never flags in its sprint to a sinister climax.