Author: Iris Johansen
Series: Catherine Ling, Book 4
Publication: St. Martin's Press; First Edition first Printing edition (April 28, 2015)
Description: Catherine Ling is one of the CIA's most prized operatives. Raised on the streets of Hong Kong, she was pulled into the agency at the age of fourteen. If life has taught her anything, it is not to get attached, but there are two exceptions to that rule: her son Luke and her mentor Hu Chang. Luke was kidnapped at age two, and now, nine years later, he has astonishingly been returned to her. Catherine vows never to fail him again. Now, just as she is building a relationship with Luke, it seems that someone from Catherine's past is playing a deadly game with her, and using those she cares about as pawns. Three are dead already: the former prostitute who helped Catherine when she was out on the street, a CIA agent with whom she worked closely, and the informant who helped her free Luke. Someone is picking off the people Catherine cares about one by one, with the circle narrowing closer and closer to those she loves the most. Catherine has made many enemies throughout her life, and she has no choice but to weed through her past to find out who is targeting her now, and then go after the vicious killer herself.
My Thoughts: Catherine Ling is in all kinds of trouble when an old enemy decides to kill everyone she loves. But Catherine, despite her feeling that she is a loner, has many more friends than she thought. When she realizes that her friends are at risk, one of the first people she contacts in Eve Duncan. But not in time to keep Jane from being hurt and needing Caleb to help her heal.
Eve is assisted by Richard Cameron who is a sort of friend, sort of adversary who wants a relationship with Catherine. Like Catherine he is very, very competent and very, very dangerous. The villain Santos would go up against them if he was sane. But his actions prove that he is not. He keeps trying to attack those close to Catherine but Catherine and her allies keep foiling his plans. But the threat won't be over until Santos is dead and Catherine has no qualms about killing him if she can find him.
This story was a lot about relationships and love. From the budding relationship Catherine has with the son who was stolen away from her for nine years to the relationship Eve has with her dead daughter Bonnie, relationships are at the core of this story. It takes a threat of the magnitude of Santos before Catherine realizes the number of bonds she has actually built.
This wasn't a mystery since we knew the villain's name and intentions from the beginning but the tension came from wondering if he would manage to out-think and out-maneuver Catherine and her allies.
This is the fourth book in the Catherine Ling series and was an excellent addition to the series.
She nodded. "Sorry, Luke. I seem to have stacked the cards against you when I brought you into the world. Every time you turn around, you're facing one of those ugly crooks I have to get rid of." She tried to smile. "No PTA or soccer mom for you. Maybe the next reincarnation."I was sent this book in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your copy here.