Introducing David Trevellyan, a man trained by the Royal Navy to be, well, a kind of super agent. He’s the guy you want around when a sticky situation comes up. He carries the right tools, and his cavalier attitude sends signals that he’s not worried about the bad guys getting the upper hand. They haven’t so far….
Trevellyan has been meticulously trained for his career, and in EVEN he is going to need every ounce of his skill, to clear his name and save his life. He has never doubted that he could. “…only one thing you had to have. A kind of sixth sense. Useful, if you wanted to pass your assessment. Vital, if you wanted to stay alive afterward.”
It all started when he was on his way back to his hotel one night in Manhattan. Walking along after a late dinner, he discovers a body in an alley. Ignoring the obvious danger, he steps in to take a better look. It couldn’t have been worse timing. Just as he’s going through the corpse’s pockets, a police car slides to a stop, lights flashing, catching him red-handed. They won’t listen to explanations, so David doesn’t even try to give them one.
It’s not as though Trevellyan hasn’t killed before, but he certainly didn’t murder this poor wretch. And the more he thinks about it, the more he realizes it smells fishy. The bum in the alley was still warm --- and the cops show up? Common knowledge on the street has it that they don’t really rush all that much when it’s just a dead tramp. Who would care? But they certainly arrived in record time, and they were deadly serious. Fortunately, Trevellyan can take care of himself. It’s a good thing, too, because he finds himself pretty much on his own. But then, trust is not a commodity he has much stock in.
“In my world you are surrounded by deceit….You end up convinced that everyone is hiding something from you. Friend, as well as foe. Which experience shows is not too far from the truth.”
In a strange turn of events, Trevellyan grudgingly partners up with the FBI. He’d really rather be on a plane headed back to London. But someone who has real pull with him wants him to help the Bureau in New York. A woman named Tanya. A woman from Trevellyan’s past. One he worked with, one he’s delighted to work with again, and one he really would like some after-work time with. And here she is, in New York.
The case of the dead man in the alley blossoms into a situation that looks like it may have global consequences. Clearly, more than one death is involved, and the threat of more to come keeps David in New York far longer than he had wanted. So does Tanya.
The components the unlikely team unearths as they search for clues to who murdered the tramp become part of an even bigger puzzle. What are the people they’re looking for doing? What’s their goal? Are they planning a massive attack, or are they simply doing it for the thrill? Do they have more victims targeted?
There’s one thing they do know: they have mere hours to come up with the answers to all of their questions. As the scheme takes shape, the full horror of it becomes unbearably clear. Trevellyan --- and the FBI --- can’t afford to be wrong.
It’s a pleasure observing Trevellyan’s methods. You have to love his philosophy. Take, for example, his approach to finding a needle in a haystack: “So a needle’s in there, and we need it back. No problem. Get some matches. Hay burns. Needles don’t.” This is a man who prefers the direct approach. More importantly, he is highly capable, not to mention highly irreverent, delightfully witty, and deadly in his work.
EVEN will blow your socks off. Andrew Grant pulls his readers in with the first page and doesn’t let go until he’s finished with them. Kind of like David Trevellyan. Thriller fans won’t find a better book this season.
Reviewed by Kate Ayers on January 21, 2011