The weakest entry thus far in the Jane Whitefield series. We've seen time and time again how resourceful Jane can be in anticipating the opposition's actions and evading them - there's lots more of that here, albeit almost too routine by now. Jane's acceptance of a new runner is almost perfunctory, despite her promise to her husband not to continue her work as a guide, and is followed by a periodic peppering of guilt as she contemplates her betrayal of that promise. The underlying problem that caused the runner to flee is interesting enough, but Jane's methods are feeling somewhat shopworn.
Without revealing too much of the plot, the story here is that Jane is drawn into a decades-long scheme involving an unusually gifted man who holds the key to billions of dollars in hidden Mafia bank accounts. His death sets off frantic but covert inquiries all over the country, uneasy alliances, and lots of second-guessing, as his former employers attempt to work together to locate anyone who might be able to help them reclaim what Barney stashed for them. Jane's involvement, however, is completely counter to those interests: to quickly and quietly distribute that money to charities, permanently removing it from the hands of the criminals who amassed it. (One significant complaint - way
too much time spent discussing mail drops.)
Rather than just being cardboard obstacles for the heroine to triumph over, Perry's villains (at least, the ones who live to the end of the story) often take on their own substance, to the point where the reader is left wondering, "what will happen to them now?" Just as he did in Silence
, Perry slips in a little nugget for the reader to chew over - speculating just what will happen to the "families" in the wake of the upheaval caused by Barney's death. Nothing is too straightforward in Perry's books, which is just fine with me.