Publisher: Mira (June 12, 2018)
The Guardian (Book 2)
Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel
The last time Bianca St. Ives saw Alexander Groton, he was pointing a rifle at her head. Instead of accepting his job offer at the CIA, she chose to jump to her death. Or so he thought. Now she’s lying on the ground on a cold, rainy night in Virginia, aiming a sniper rifle at the window of his secluded home, waiting for the perfect shot to take him down.
She’s been hearing from her contacts on the Deep Web that there is an all-out, world-wide man-or woman-hunt for a high profile fugitive from justice. Her gut tells her that she is the intended target. As she has learned, the first action in taking off the heat is to take out the head hunter. Groton is the top man in an organization set on shutting down all traces of the top secret Nomad Project, including, especially, Bianca St. Ives. Bianca seldom misses her target, but in this case another shooter beats her to punch and sends her running for cover.
Bianca St. Ives is the name her father Richard gave her, and he raised her to follow his footsteps as a world-class international thief. She remembers very little of her childhood, just a soft voice, a gentle touch, a name not her own, and her world going up in flames.
The last time she saw Richard St. Ives, he was in a burning truck at a port in Bahrain. She narrowly escapes with Doc, the tech man on the doomed robbery. Keeping her mourning to herself, she returns with him to her legitimate security business, Guardian Consulting. She has built a successful life for herself in Savannah and had hoped she’d left the world of crime behind her.
That world is not ready to let her go, however. In addition to the threat from the multiple agencies who want to make her disappear, an international crime syndicate has put a million dollar price on her head. What’s a girl to do? The answer comes from her presumed dead, presumed father Mason Thayer/aka Richard St. Ives. Not surprisingly, at least to her, he had survived their last botched mission. Now he gives her an out from all her problems: all she needs to do is steal a priceless collection from an impregnable Moscow museum and return it to the German government from which it was taken during World War II.
For Bianca, the difficult is easy; the impossible takes a little longer. To achieve her task, she calls in favors from a Chinese seamstress and a gypsy circus troupe, among others. Even Doc, her meek, nerdish computer expert, makes his mettle, from the streets of Macau to the deadly halls of Moscow.
Look out, Jason Bourne, there’s a new super spy in town, and her name is Bianca St. Ives, previously known as Beth McAlister. She has it all: brains, beauty, super skills and a deadly garter belt. THE MOSCOW DECEPTION, second in the series after THE ULTIMATUM, is a thriller on steroids. Bianca is a multi-layered heroine. Her nemesis/potential love interest, ex-MI6 agent Colin Rogan, is a worthy adversary with a James Bond vibe. All the characters are well-drawn, the settings are impeccably described, and the plot is first-rate. Highly recommended.
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