Matthew Quirk. The Directive. New York: Little, Brown, 2014. 368p. ISBN 978-0-316-19864-6. $26 Fiction

In Quirk's follow-up to his acclaimed debut thriller, The 500, attorney Mike Ford is again on the run, this time framed for murder and pursued by conspirators who willingly kill to coerce his aid. With Mike as front man, they plan to steal—before its release—the top-secret directive regularly issued by the Federal Reserve to guide U.S. economic policy. Mike's con man father is out of prison but not much help; his untrustworthy brother, Jack, having flubbed his part in the conspiracy, is willing to sacrifice Mike's life to save his own. The father of Mike's fiancée, a wealthy power broker, hates Mike. The female CEO of a security firm wants to help, but her actions threaten to sabotage Mike and Annie's wedding. These problems fade to insignificance when Mike realizes that to survive he will have to do the impossible—gain access to and egress from one of the most secure sites in Washington, DC. VERDICT Sustained by Quirk's research, an engrossing plot, the ever-increasing tension of a deadly cat and mouse game, and high stakes, this page-turner will attract not only fans of such financial-thriller authors as Christopher Reich and Joseph Finder but all those looking for a fun, fast-flowing beach read. [See Prepub Alert, 11/1/13.] Library Journal (March 15).

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