Thursday, March 25, 2010

Last Snow by Eric Van Lustbader

Last Snow is Eric Van Lustbader's sequel to his smashing hit,  First Daughter.  The lives of the United States President and the family of Jack McClure are intertwined.  Not only are the men good friends, but their daughters are best friends and roommates.  In the first book, Jack is able to rescue Alli, the President's daughter, when she is abducted.  That act leads to him becoming the President's special and trusted advisor, the one man the President trusts entirely.

As Last Snow begins, Jack and the President are in Russia, where the terms of a historic treaty are being worked out.  Then a member of the delegation, a Senator who is supposed to be in Russia working, is found dead in Capri.  No one knows why he was there, if the death was accidental or a murder, or if it will impact the treaty talks.  Jack is asked to investigate the matter.

As he prepares to depart on his mission, he becomes embroiled in an assault on a beautiful Russian FSB agent, Annika.  He saves her but then realises that she will remain in danger in the capitol.  However, with her contacts and knowledge, they agree that she will be useful in the investigation and agree that she should accompany Jack on his trip.  They are surprised when they get to the plane to find Alli Carson, the First Daughter, ready to go also.  Since her return from captivity, she is only comfortable around her rescuer Jack, and refuses to stay behind.

The three travel across Eastern Europe.  They quickly discover there are several factions working behind the scenes; some to insure passage of the treaty, and some to defeat it.  There is treachery, counterspying, betrayals, alliances and a world where nothing is as it seems.  Can the trio manuver their way between the obstacles and find out what is behind the various groups before the treaty signing?

As with his other books, Van Lustbader delivers a heartstopping suspenseful story, full of plots and counterplots and story twists.  The reader feels compelled to read to the end, many holding their breath in especially exciting areas.  The characters aren't as fully developed in this book as in others, as plot and pace is everything, although Jack is a strong character and the villians are especially memorable.  This book is recommended for readers who like action suspense.

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