Wilderness of Warning

Lisa Green knows that although she has been living with her “fiancé”, Roland Lewis, in a bush cabin for the last few months, the story doesn’t match up. Her amnesia hasn’t taken away her ability to reason, after all.

It takes an altercation at Right Choice Supermarket and reporting herself as a missing person to the Collier County Sherriff’s Office before her actual identity is revealed – Customs officer Sarah Lockhart. Her mission: an undercover operation involving a permanent Homeland Security presence in Sicily, Italy. A separate mission: exposing a counterfeit goods ring with stateside Mafia connections.

In Douglas Schofield’s Killing Pace, the book combines a strong female lead and high-energy thrills to address criminal activity that could be an episode of CSI or the next Jason Bourne film.

Not only is Lisa Green/Sarah Lockhart working undercover to bring to light the fake brand-name merchandise business that started in Sicily and is being illegally imported stateside, but she begins to uncover an illegal adoption scheme that gives undercover a whole new meaning. To top it all off, Sarah Lockhart isn’t her real name either.

It’s after the amnesia wears off that she is brought up to date on what has been happening since her disappearance. Not only was she involved in a vehicle collision that killed multiple people and left her with zero recollection of her former self, but she’s wanted for murder and possible kidnapping. As she pieces her life and her assignments back together, she quickly realizes that she is on her own for solving each crime.

The importance of this female lead comes from a perspective of both a female lead in general and a female lead in the criminal justice field. From the remote Florida Everglades to the towns of Sicily, an undercover U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer taking on multiple cases and ultimately handling them herself is an impressive feat.

“Years ago, I noticed that, in commercial fiction – particularly in the mystery/suspense/thriller arena – women were routinely assigned to the supporting roles,” Schofield said in a press release. “But why not a formidable woman? After all, she has an extra advantage; she’s unexpected. We are culturally hard-wired to root for underdogs, and who makes for a better underdog in a fight?”

The first installment in what is currently a planned series provides a page-turning, adrenaline-filled piece of fiction with a protagonist that can keep up with the likes of the Mafia, fellow government employees and the occasional criminal. If this is the beginning of her story, the next in the series is unlikely to disappoint.