by Toby Neal
This is a high glam, international thriller that defies credibility.
Within five pages, exotically beautiful FBI Special Agent Sophie Ang has crawled above an apartment ceiling and set up two surveillance cameras.
She’s watched three kidnappers receive simultaneous texts informing them they’ve been sold out to the cops.
She’s drilled a hole above the closet where a kidnapped child is held, dropped down without falling on the child, killed two kidnappers and survived a shot to her Kevlar vest before grabbing the child and escaping.
After a trip to the hospital, she drives her pearl-colored Lexus SUV to her penthouse apartment with a view overlooking Diamond Head.
In addition to her beauty, Sophie is a master of mixed martial arts and a crackerjack information technology expert who has developed a software program that allows for data comparisons across multiple law enforcement computer systems as well as the Internet at large to pinpoint patterns of criminal activity.
Technology-driven security systems are at the heart of this mystery. Lurking in the background is Sophie’s sadistic ex-husband, Hong Kong businessman Assan Ang. We won’t offer any spoilers here. There are plenty of loose ends dangling to fuel successive contributions to this series:
- Wired Rogue
- Wired Hard
- Wired Dark
- Wired Dawn
- Wired Justice
This is a book to read by the pool, on an airplane or after a bad day at work. It’s entertaining and escapist. The credibility of the story gets paper-thin in places, but that won’t matter if you have enough wine while you read. With a protagonist like Sophie, you don’t get much suspense because Neal has clearly established that she couldn’t possibly lose.
This book is slicker and less well-drawn than Blood Orchids, the first book of Neal’s Lei Crime Series, featuring Hawaii Police Officer Lei Texeira, based in Hilo.
The character of Sophie Ang first appeared as a secondary character in Broken Ferns, the fourth book of the Lei Crime Series.
The Author: Toby Neal
Toby Neal is a mental health therapist who grew up on Kaua’i. She wrote and illustrated her first book at the age of 5. She left Hawaii for her education and then returned. She works with a nonprofit that deals with children. She enjoys beach walking, body boarding, scuba diving, photography and hiking when she’s not writing.
In addition to the Paradise Crime and Lei Crime series, she has written the Somewhere romance series and the young adult book Island Fire. In addition, she co-wrote with Emily Kimelman the Scorch series.