Motives and means collide in shadowy Sunshine State thriller

The Gail Force, by Robert Lane. Mason Alley Publishing. 341 pages. Trade paperback $14.95.

This fourth title in the Jake Travis series maintains the powerful rush of suspense, the intricate observations about places and personalities, and the complex tradecraft of its hero that has come to be expected. The task that Jake undertakes is unusually convoluted, the stakes are high, and the women are so very, very attractive. gailforce-hi-res

Karl Anderson and his pretty wife Riley have found trouble. Karl has disappointed a sinister fellow named Phillip Agatha who under the cover of running an art gallery is an entrepreneur in blackmail and murder. Karl does not escape Agatha’s wrath, but he manages to get Riley on her way to safety. Soon she is depending on Jake to protect her, which means eventually dealing with Agatha.

Agatha, known as the Fat Man, is the target of an FBI investigation, but he seems to lead a charmed life for one in this position. Though there may be people he deals with who would like to rat him out, he may have influence inside the FBI, someone whose personal and professional interests benefit from Agatha’s services. This is truly one of those “you can’t tell the good guys from the bad guys” situations, and Mr. Lane handles all the implications and nuances of this morally murky environment with great skill.

Jake and his long-time, super-skilled buddies team up with an FBI sting meant to bring down Agatha. Millions of dollars flow in and out of various accounts to make this happen. This alliance is managed by Jake’s FBI insider, attractive female Agent Binelli with whom Jake has partnered before. This task brings him, under cover of course, to Agatha’s offices and his super yacht, “The Gail Force.” Agatha is a man of incredible taste and the money to indulge it. He’d like to keep it that way. He sends his lovely assistant Christina to show Jake around. She is quite a distraction, and their relationships builds from role playing to flirtation and is on the edge of becoming much more.

Robert Lane

Robert Lane

In fact, just as suspenseful as the painstakingly schemed mission is the growing magnetism between Jake and the much younger Christina. Jake’s attraction to her complicates the reader’s understanding of his healthy, uplifting, and fortunate relationship with Kathleen. It’s clear that Kathleen, developed in the previous Jake Travis novels, is the love of his life, the perfect mate, and perhaps more than he deserves. The scenes between them are magic in every way. . . .

To read the entire review, as it appears in the November 23, 2016 Fort Myers Florida Weekly and the November 24 Naples, Bonita Springs, Palm Beach Gardens / Jupiter, and Palm Beach / West Palm Beach editions, click here: Florida Weekly – The Gail Force

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