Firewall: An Emma Streat Mystery. Eugenia Lovett West. Spark Press. November 2019. pb, 352 pp.; ISBN: 9781684630103.
Emma Streat is no stranger to mysteries and solving international and domestic crime. Her husband was killed in the first case she later got involved in. Now the threat is a bunch of criminals involved in international cyberterrorism. This story begins when her elderly godmother is blackmailed, gives in to the demand but then sets out to find who is the blackmailer. She may be elderly but she’s a feisty lady who is no slouch and Emma shares many of the same attitudes and determination!
Her involvement will force Emma to bond with an ex-lover and other secret agents. She will be compelled to travel to France, Italy, Ireland and Geneva, Switzerland. In each place, more attempts at kidnapping will occur, some with horrendous attacks causing multiple deaths. The flair of each character involves twists and turns that are unexpected. Criminals may be multiple smart people but there are always miniscule mistakes they did not foresee which expose them to capture.
The bottom line of this mystery concerns multiple attempts to bribe wealthy individuals followed by the laundering of criminal monies. All of this costs big money that must be moved around by other criminal types and the criminal plot just keep growing more convoluted and complex, with Emma moving forward on her best instincts, both with and without legal protection. Violence and death will occur to many involved, both planned and accidental. She’s obviously a woman who thrives on following her instincts and love for adventure. Her children are in college and now she has taken up what seems to be a new career, being a sleuth who’s very good at listening to people, observing them and following her gut instincts in a process that is breath-taking and nerve-wracking, a double whammy package that keeps the reader reading rapidly, flipping the pages and wanting both a solution and yet also not wanting it all to end.
Ms. West has remarkable talent and skills to make this a nail-biting, satisfying international mystery. Readers are guaranteed to remember this read and to want more of the same in the near future!