Actual rating 4.5 starsI just have one complaint with the book - WHERE IS JOHN MEDINA? Honestly i was hoping to get a bit of action from the super-spy, even if just a teensy bit. Not that the book wasn't good. It was awesome, maybe the best Linda Howard book I have read so far. The suspense kept me on the edge and the climax just blew my mind. Predictable, but Howard has a way with showing even the most predictable of endings with a thrill. Though I had guessed the ending correctly, i was still gripped by how it came about. The characters too were well developed and relatable, as relatable as a contract agent for CIA can be. Swain was fun- one of those characters that made you laugh a lot and yet when he was on the job you took him seriously. Lily was simply kick-ass. From her cold vengeful killer trying to avenge her friends and daughter to a broken woman battling her inner loneliness- Lily was portrayed wonderfully. But for a book in the John Medina series it was lacking a bit in John Medina. I was waiting the entire book for John to make a spectacular entry- maybe a mystery savior in a sticky situation, maybe a messenger with hair-raising intel. But i was just waiting. I enjoyed the book immensely, i couldn't have put it down if i wanted to and i didnt. But a John Medina without John Medina (i know this sounds awfully like a rant but i'm trying to be objective here) simply doesnt work for me. Other than that I have no complaints.