A mysterious organization calling itself the Rubaco Pentad is blackmailing the FBI. If the Pentad’s demands for money are not met, high-profile victims will die.
Each demand is bigger than the last, and the drop-off instructions are lethally complicated—it’s almost as if the Pentad wants the FBI to fail.
But when an agent disappears with the cash he’s carrying, he needs to be found, and fast.
The FBI pins its hopes on former agent Steve Vail, who quit rather than compromise his rigid personal code and is now working as a bricklayer.
Vail masters cryptic clues leading him to traps worthy of Rube Goldberg’s evil twin, but the logistical implausibilities won’t trouble most readers, who will root for the tough, intelligent Vail while savoring the sexual tension between him and his FBI handler.