Troubleshooter Jack McClure returns in this follow up to last year’s First Daughter. In Last Snow, McClure is with the US President in Moscow on the eve of a historic treaty with Russia. But when an American senator is killed in Italy (when he was supposedly in the Ukraine), the President sends McClure to Kiev to investigate. McClure’s job is complicated by the presence of Annika Dementieva, a renegade Federal Security Service (FSB) agent and Alli Carson, the President’s daughter, whom he must keep safe. Time and again, McClure’s three-dimensional approach to problem solving, which ia also linked to his dyslexia, gets them out of trouble. At the same time, McClure uncovers a conspiracy to undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty and involving some in the President’s own inner circle.
Last Snow is one of several recent novels featuring the grandiose theme of a renewed Cold War with Russia. However, the presence of Alli Carson, the titular First Daughter of the previous novel, humanizes the story. Alli is still reeling from the kidnapping and torture she endured in the first installment. Her rather bizarre presence on McClure’s mission gives her an opportunity to face her fears and claim her own identity. That alone raises Last Snow above the current le Carré knockoffs.