Reviewer Amy Lignor: Amy is the author of a historical fiction novel entitled The Heart of a Legend, and Mind Made, a work of science fiction. Presently, she is writing an adventure series set in the New York Public Library, as well as a teen fiction series, The Angel Chronicles. She is an avid traveler and has been fortunate to have journeyed across the USA, where she has met the most amazing people, who truly bring life and soul to her books. She lives in the Land of Enchantment (for now) with her gorgeous daughter, Shelby, her wonderful Mom, Mary, and the greatest friend and critic in the entire world - her dog, Reuben
With this latest suspense novel from Ms. Arnout Smith, we begin with an extremely frightened Professor. His name is Thaddeus Bartholomew and he is afraid this night will be the last one of his life. He can hear the person behind him following him...stalking him...as he crawls and scrapes his way across the empty, dark field. His heart is practically falling out of his chest as the shock and pain suddenly register through his body, as the metal shot from a crossbow takes his life.
After the tragic death, we are taken to an island paradise where Grace Descano, a San Diego crime scene tech, is having a holiday with her little girl. This is a much-needed holiday, as all readers who have been following Grace’s harrowing life in previous novels, already knows. Grace has a lot on her plate. Not only is she trying to recover from an emergency that would’ve turned into a monumental tragedy told in one of the first novels, she is also trying to create a relationship between her daughter and her daughter’s father. Suffice to say, this is far more important than her job. Unfortunately, she receives a call telling her that there is a dead Professor in a field,and the only clue for the FBI to go on is a name that the Professor typed into his phone right before he died. That name belongs to Grace.
Leaving her personal struggles behind her on the island, Grace is swept to Palm Springs into a world of scientific horror that she may not survive. A convention is being held and groups of protestors as well as supporters of the “green” movement are coming together for the International Ministerial Conference and Expo on Agricultural Science and Technology. Not only is that title a mouthful, the secrets that are being hidden by every player in this book are many, and each is more frightening than the last. Grace will not only have to solve the crime, she must find out exactly what all these scientists and researchers are up to. She must uncover the clues to see if the murdered Professor was a man taken down by “environmental crazies” or perhaps deeply involved in the groups that are setting fire to fields of soybeans for no apparent reason.
The characters in this novel are neverending, and each has their own interesting “thread” that will keep the reader forging ahead to see exactly what is going on with this convention. Not only that – suspense aside – the secondary story of Grace and her family is just as compelling. We feel for Grace and all the mistakes and trials she’s gone through in her personal life. And we end up – even with all her faults – wanting to see Grace come out on top.
Although a bit slow in places when dealing with the overwhelming science of agricultural DNA, the majority of the plotline is fresh – which is hard to find in this day and age when the subjects of biological science and terrorism have taken over library bookshelves everywhere.
For all you conspiracy theorists out there...this one's for you.