From Publishers Weekly
Two unlikely heroines who converge to expose a bioterrorist plot inspired by neo-Nazis and implemented by cultists on Michigan's Upper Peninsula are the protagonists of this absorbing first novel by nonfiction writer Hartmann (Reproductive Rights and Wrongs; A Quiet Violence). Gillian Grace, a history professor raising her troubled mixed-race teenage daughter alone, has the family and security that Lucy Wirth, the abused wife of a recovering alcoholic, yearns for; both women are struggling for emotional independence. Gillian's graduate student Michael Landis unwittingly brings them together by infiltrating the Sons of the Shepherd ministry, a radical right-wing militia and religious sect where Lucy's husband, Hank, blindly follows the dictates of its leader, called simply Reverend, even condoning the Reverend's coercive sexual relationship with Lucy. Michael suspects the group of murdering his best friend, a Native American forest ranger. Drawn into Michael's research by the global implications of his discoveries, Gillian finds herself tracing connections from the group to neo-Nazis in Germany, while Michael follows a trail of terror to Chicago and Lucy makes her way to Gillian's daughter. Probing the international network allows Gillian to put off decisions about her marriage (she and her husband are separated), just as pretending to obey the Reverend gives Lucy time to hatch her own plot; meanwhile, suspense builds as the time to thwart murderous plans runs out. Hartmann's expertise on women's issues and insights into the problems of the poor serve her well in her fictional debut. Lucy is particularly interesting, so wily in her submissiveness we don't know if once she asserts herself she will save lives or destroy them. Over the course of her compelling tale, Hartmann proves herself an able storyteller, creating fearless, idealistic, knowledgeable and opinionated female characters who make difficult choices and reluctantly get involved in dangerous enterprises to protect themselves, their families and their communities. Agent, Linda Roghaar.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
This politically charged thriller unfolds through the perspectives of two very different women enmeshed in the same terrifying situation. Gillian Grace, a German history professor interested in modern fascism, has just taken a job at Keweenaw University in the isolated Upper Peninsula town of Houghton, Michigan. She is fleeing a stalled marriage, accompanied by her withdrawn, angry teenage daughter. Lucy Wirth is a local woman whose husband is involved in a religious group called Sons of the Shepherd; she senses that they are up to something but is powerless against the abusive men of the group. When one of Gillian's students asks for her help investigating neo-Nazi activity in the area, which he believes is linked to a murder, she agrees against her better judgment and stumbles across the sinister plans of the Sons of the Shepherd. As Gillian falls deeper into the investigation, placing herself and her daughter in danger, Lucy finds the courage to act to save them. These well-drawn women lend real drama to a tense, multilayered story. Carrie BisseyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved