When Arthur Tisler is found with a bullet in his head, everyone hopes it's suicide. If so, the case can be quietly closed. If Tisler's death is connected to his investigations - this could turn into the biggest scandal in department history. The investigating captain, Marcus Graver, can't rely on the "inside," so he hires an independent, a woman who has spent most of her career in the CIA's Far East operations. Her surveillance leads to a legendary deep-cover agent who is one of the most ruthless criminals in the world.
"A little flat...."
Harry Strand is living a quiet life as an art dealer in Houston. But until four years ago, he was an intelligence agent for the foreign service. His nemesis was Schrade, a ruthless international criminal who arranged the "accident" that killed Harry's wife. Now Harry has met a mysterious, beautiful woman who may have critical information about Schrade. And Harry begins to bait a trap for his enemy. The more Harry learns, however, the more he feels pulled into a much deeper conspiracy.
As a forensic artist in Austin, Texas, Paul Bern painstakingly reconstructs the likenesses of unfortunate souls whose features have been obliterated by crime or accident. As macabre as his vocation may be, it has become a comfortable and lucrative routine - until the day a mysterious woman arrives at his studio. The visitor brings two gifts. The first is a human skull she has smuggled out of Mexico. The second is a staggering secret that brings him eyeball to eyeball with a past he never knew he had.
Behind Harry Strand is a career in American intelligence that he wishes he could forget and a wife, killed in a car accident, who he can't stop thinking about. In spite of his past, Harry has managed to start a new career as a successful art dealer in Houston. Then, mysterious, exotic Mara Song enters his life, sharing the lap pool of an exclusive club where Harry swims alone every morning. For weeks they swim together, never speaking, never actually meeting - until she disappears. A month later Mara walks into his office with a business proposition: she wants Harry to help her sell an extraordinary portfolio of drawings by modern masters. The allure of the cache and of Mara herself is something he can't resist. Even after he discovers in Mara's apartment conclusive evidence that she was involved in the murder of his wife. The Cold War may be over, but Harry's war has just begun.