|This is perhaps the best of the Mission Impassioned series featuring the Lazlo Group. The Lazlo Group is a covert organization that deals with terrorist and criminals in ways that governments could not do. The Group has begun systematically to be attacked by persons unknown who at various times succeed in killing some of the Lazlo agents. As this story opens most of the agents have "gone to ground" until Lazlo can discover who is after him.
One of the employees still working in a high profile job with Lazlo is Lucia Cordez, girl Friday, secretary and administrative assistant. And someone who has been in love with Lazlo since the inception of her employment some ten years earlier.
Lazlo picked Lucia up at a job hiring fair on her college campus, She was a known computer nerd, too tall, too smart and too shy to fit in with her peers. Corbett Lazlo trains her, bringing her up to the level of many of his agents in skills such as self-defense.
At present Lucia is trying to trace threatening email messages that Lazlo thinks will tell him who is behind all these attacks. So far unsuccessful, he asks her to take a break and accompany him to a party hosted by his parents. On the walk home afterwards, a young man with a gun shoots him. Lazlo had been wearing a Kevlar vest so has only broken ribs. The young gunman is taken to the same hospital, and it is there Lazlo discovers the villainess in his life.
Roaring in is Cassandra Dumont to the bedside of her son Troy Dumont, the shooter. Twenty years ago, Lazlo had seduced Cassandra in the course of his employment with the government to get to her father, leader of an evil gang. In the course of that confrontation, Cassandra's brother was killed and she was disinherited. Additionally
and unknown to Lazlo, he had made her pregnant. The young shooter Tony is indeed Lazlo's son.
Is it any wonder that Cassandra has made punishing Lazlo her life's work? She had spent many of her years wresting control of her father's empire from him, and then setting up her resources to go after Lazlo. And on Lazlo's part, he had been carrying baggage from
his betrayal of Cassandra for a long time, and the guilt on discovering his son had shot him only adds weight. Cassandra naturally vows to kill Lucia.
Knowing Cassandra's threats are more than idle, Lazlo hustles Lucia out of the country. At this point the story gains strength as the author utilizes scene descriptions of the Hungarian site they choose. It is obvious to Lazlo now that an insider has been on Cassandra's payroll, and the choices are limited to Lucia, his brother or his best friend.
Kathleen Creighton has vibrant characters, utilizes scene changes extremely well, and handles the developing love story between Lazlo and Lucia with credibility. Although a fairly common plot line, the dialogue is crisp and often fun. The various tensions so critical to story lines are handled adroitly, enabling Creighton to dispatch the Lazlo group's problems in style. Readers will definitely enjoy this one!