Amanda Cole is a brilliant young CIA officer following in the footsteps of her father, who was a spy during the Cold War. It takes grit to succeed in this male-dominated world—but one hot summer day, when a Russian defector walks into her post, Amanda is given the ultimate chance to prove herself. The defector warns of the imminent assassination of a US senator. Though Amanda takes the warning seriously, her superiors don't. Twenty-four hours later, the senator is dead. And the assassination is just the beginning.
Atmospheric, well-researched and packed with tradecraft, conspiracies, murder and, best of all, two fascinating women ... Pitoniak has something unexpected up her sleeve. For Amanda and Kath, the novel’s conclusion also feels — hopefully — more like a beginning than an end. That’s because of how Pitoniak constructed these endearingly realistic characters. Let’s hope they make an appearance in a sequel.
Ambitious ... Though the narrative stumbles in the middle sections—some elements, particularly a subplot on meme stocks, feel forced and overcomplicated—the startling finale saves the day. Pitoniak continues to show strong instincts for the art of cloak-and-dagger.