by Glen Scott Allen

Thomas Dunn Books, $25.99, 336 pages

Benjamin Franklin Wainwright is contacted by Fletcher, a brilliant Harvard classmate he has not heard from for years. Fletcher is a member of a prestigious think tank run by a wealthy foundation in New England. He tells Wainwright he has uncovered something critically important. He refuses to reveal more, only that he wants to hire Wainwright as a consultant for his expertise on Colonial history and asks that he come as soon as possible. Upon arrival, Wainwright finds his friend has died and the Foundation has not contacted police, but hired its own investigator.

Wainwright is drawn into the investigation, and after another member dies and the investigator disappears, he flees the Foundation campus. The clues that had been uncovered there lead him to Natalya, a beautiful employee of the Russian Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. In their search for the truth they end up in the Siberian wilderness. Romance develops during their dangerous journey.

It can be somewhat difficult to follow the many characters in the plot. Keeping all the clues and secret codes straight, requires some concentration. The story may leave the reader with a new perspective on the motives of governments as they seek to hold onto power.

Reviewed by Fran Byram