In one of her more daring rescues, Jane helps a man escape from the Los Angeles County Courthouse. James Shelby has been accused of murdering his wife. Thugs hired by the real murderer much too expeditiously capture Jane and torture her to find out where she's hidden Shelby. There's a long, detailed description of what happens to poor Jane and is a homage to what Stieg Larsson did to poor Lisbeth Salander. Jane, like Lisbeth, doesn't get mad. She gets back.
Jane's story is told in measured tones, with meticulously described action and stoically withheld self-pity. The plot is advanced step by logical step and the characters explain themselves precisely, but neither is done with any inner fire. Still, the story is clever, and it's hard not to sympathize with whatever Jane wants to do in retaliation, especially after old nemeses surface for an auction to win a captured Jane. Have I mentioned the body count?
When I read Vanishing Act, the first Jane Whitefield book, way back when, I was amazed by how well Perry had created such a unique and interesting female character. The way Perry incorporated Jane's Seneca heritage and knowledge was a thrilling addition. Her coolness in the face of danger was contrasted by her anger over of the wrongs that had been done to others. She had a mission to sublimate her own needs in the service of these others. So, welcome back, Jane, whoever you are now.