From Publishers Weekly
In this scattered stand-alone from D'Amato, her first thriller since 2004's Death of a Thousand Cuts, Blue Eriksen, a controversial anthropologist at Northwestern University, believes psilocybin, the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms, could lead to a cure for drug addiction. That possibility is enough for an international drug consortium, Leeuwarden Associates, to send assassin Felix Hacker to eliminate her, a task that proves unexpectedly difficult. Marcus Holton, a federal agent obsessed with tracking Hacker, and art recovery expert Joseph Stryker, the brother of one of Hacker's victims, also get involved. D'Amato does fine with both Blue's romantic life and the pitfalls of archeological digs in Peru and Turkey that Blue undertakes, but loses focus with a drug summit in Mexico and an imagined ancient burial scene. The contrived ending, in which a bad guy talks too long to an intended target in a gun fight, may disappoint those who expect this author to avoid the usual genre clichés. (Jan.)
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It would be hard to imagine a more riveting opening than the one D’Amato delivers here—a toddler crawling across a heavily trafficked interstate highway. And the action keeps building from this plot strand, as cops try to determine why this apparently well-cared-for tot has no one coming forward to claim it, despite wall-to-wall news coverage. The main plot centers on Blue Eriksen, a Northwestern University forensic archaeologist who has found a drug used by ancient peoples that may cure addiction. An international organization is tracking Eriksen down (without her knowledge), convinced that she is a threat to their drug production and trafficking profits. This main plot is a bit over the top, but D’Amato delivers nonstop action, especially in the portions of the adventure set in Peru. How the plot strands come together is also a little uneven. But it’s fun, and the information throughout on archaeology and paleontology is detailed and intriguing. --Connie Fletcher