This is a dandy thriller. Author Ramsey spends a fair number of words thanking experts and vetting some of the essential elements of a decent terrorist plot. He sets things up in an animated and tense fashion, bringing forth several key elements that are necessary to anchor the threads of the main plot. Then he throws in some trouble back home in the Shenandoah Valley with parallel warnings.
This is the fifth in Ramsey’s thoughtful series featuring ex-CIA agent Ike Schwartz. He’s continuing his tenure as sheriff of Picketsville, Virginia, but in this novel he’s on vacation, a vacation interrupted by his CIA buddy, Charlie Garland, who needs a personal favor. With great reluctance and some good-natured raillery, Ike agrees to try to locate a missing pilot, betrothed to Charlie’s niece. The pilot disappeared over a piece of Chesapeake Bay where most of the action takes place.
The author has developed a fine set of characters in the folks of Picketsville. They are varied in their personas and have a wide range of characteristics on which to hang many stories. This one, however, deals primarily with the very modern and global proposition of international terrorism.
An important subplot on the subject of Satanism is a worthy counterbalance. I do wish the author had vetted more carefully some of the early ship handling scenes and had been a bit more restrained in his condemnation of flawed parents and flawed government however accurate his opinions as expressed by some characters may be. Nonetheless, this is an enjoyable novel.