It's coming soon in print and audio (Kale Williams returns once again to give voice to Sam and Jason) but right now it's digital only.
This is the next to last book in the series, so no, everything is not wrapped up in this one--just be grateful I resisted the tremendous urge to end it on a cliffhanger.
This one is a bit different--well, maybe better to just people read and enjoy. It's fast-paced and emotional. I'll just leave it there.
Someone is watching. Someone is waiting.
Despite having attracted the attention of a dangerous stalker, Special Agent Jason West is doing his best to keep his mind on his job and off his own troubles.
But his latest case implicates one of the original Monuments Men in the theft and perhaps destruction of part of the world’s cultural heritage—a lost painting by Vermeer. Naval Reserve Lieutenant Commander Emerson Harley wasn’t just a World War II hero, he was the grandfather Jason grew up idolizing. In fact, Grandpa Harley was a large part of what inspired Jason to join the FBI’s Art Crime Team.
Learning that his legendary grandfather might have turned a blind eye to American GIs “liberating” priceless art treasures at the end of the war is more than disturbing. It’s devastating.
Jason is determined to clear his grandfather’s name, even if that means breaking a few rules and regulations himself—putting him on a collision course with romantic partner BAU Chief Sam Kennedy.
Meanwhile, someone in the shadows is biding his time…
He knocked softly on the door.
“Come.” Sam’s voice was crisp.
Jason opened the door.
Sam looked up.
He did not seem surprised to see Jason. He did not seem much of anything. There was no smile, no welcome in his eyes.
It was painful for Jason to realize how much he had come to take for granted—to rely on—the welcome in Sam’s eyes.
“Can we talk?”
Sam’s head bent in silent, unsmiling assent.
Okay, J.J. had been right about two things. Sam did look haggard. There were lines in his face that hadn’t been there yesterday and shadows beneath his eyes.
Jason closed the door and leaned against it. He did not want anyone walking in on this conversation; also, he did not miss the fact that he was not being invited to sit.
“It…hurts that you think I would try to bury the truth or—or manipulate the facts to suit myself or my family. I wouldn’t do that. I would never do that.”
Sam said—and he sounded tired, “People find good reasons for doing the wrong things. You’re not the first. You won’t be the last.”
“I wanted to know the truth. That’s all. And I felt like I was the best person to discover what that is because I am biased.”
Sam’s mouth curved, but it was not a friendly smile.
Jason pushed on. That’s what it felt like: trying to push a boulder up a hill. “I know how this looks on the surface, but I also know the kind of man my grandfather was. He dedicated his life to the preservation of art. He was willing to risk his life. He didn’t have to go overseas. He wasn’t drafted. He was forty-six and a lieutenant in the Navy Reserve. He requested active duty, but because of his art-conservation background, he agreed to join the newly formed Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program.”
Sam said, “I know all this. I know how much you admired and loved your grandfather. I know that his work with the Monuments Men inspired your own decision to dedicate your life to the protection and preservation of art. I understand—more than you realize—that this is not easy for you, which is why you needed to hand if off to an agent who did not have a personal stake in the outcome.”
Jason started to speak, but Sam cut across. “Do you not understand that because you are ethically compromised, your investigation is compromised? Even if you do find that your grandfather had no involvement whatsoever in the theft of these items, your personal bias makes your findings dubious at best.”
“I know that’s a risk, but—”
“It’s not a risk. It’s a fact.”
“Which is why it was my intention to find irrefutable proof that my grandfather was not involved.”
“Okay, and do you understand that comment is not remotely reassuring?”
“You know what I mean.”
“You know what I know? Your good intentions are irrelevant. What is relevant is you’ve knowingly, deliberately, violated ethics regulations. You’re throwing your career away—and for what?”
Jason was silent. He had hoped that with a bit of time to cool down and process, Sam’s hard-line view of the situation might soften. But if anything, his perspective had solidified, hardened. He was no longer angry. This cold conviction was worse than that.
He said finally, bitterly, “I see. So where does that leave us?”
Sam did not answer.
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