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A surprising plot and deceptively simple prose distinguish Jones's exceptional thriller, his second after his impressive debut, 2012's The Silent Oligarch. Wealthy Iranian expatriate Darius Qazai seeks out British investigator Ben Webster, who works for the boutique London firm of Ikertu, which specializes in lawsuits, audits, and other corporate work. Qazai is looking to sell the family business, "one of the largest asset management companies in the world," but is concerned that a prospective buyer may be scared off by rumors of something unseemly in his background. Qazai wants Ikertu to do a check that will allay the fears of this potential buyer. Something about the assignment feels wrong to Webster, despite provisions to protect his agency's integrity. He speculates that the concerns about his client may be connected with the murder, in Iran, of an art dealer with whom Qazai was friendly. The novel's power derives mainly from its nuanced look at Webster's struggle to balance his principles and his responsibilities to his family. Agent: Melanie Jackson, Melanie Jackson Agency. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.